News

COVID-19 Update

Our days are very different now than they were just four weeks ago. COVID-19 has drastically changed nearly everything in our lives, from the way we communicate to how we shop for groceries. The pandemic impacts day-to-day operations at APLA Health in many ways — big and small — including staff wearing masks and other PPE to protect themselves and our clients and working safely from home whenever possible.
What hasn’t changed is APLA Health’s commitment to quality health care and essential services for everyone. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted what we have always known: people of color, LGBTQ folks, people living with HIV, and low-income communities have a higher disease burden and worse health outcomes than more privileged Americans. The headlines about COVID-19’s disparate impact, particularly on communities of color, are not news to us and only reinforce our commitment to make our APLA Health mission — health care equity for the LGBTQ and other underserved communities — a reality.
Bolstered by our generous supporters, here are a few ways we’re making this possible:
  • Over the past several weeks, we’ve built telehealth capacity, allowing us to provide critical medical, mental health, and support services by video or over the phone. This includes the older adults living with HIV in our “HIVE” (HIV Elders) program. Our staff is providing much-needed human interaction to many who are struggling in this time of isolation.
     
  • APLA Health prevention staff are contacting every client. These regular wellness calls ensure that clients continue to have access to the support and resources they need to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic.
     
  • Our Vance North Necessities of Life Program (NOLP) is providing essential food to our clients — including meat, dairy, eggs and fresh produce. And our timing couldn’t have been better. On March 1st we expanded NOLP for the first time in its 30-plus year history to be a full meal program, meaning we are now providing the ingredients for 21 meals plus snacks every week. NOLP is seeing record client demand. At our David Geffen site alone demand is up 29% in the last month. We’re serving more than 700 clients and providing almost 3,000 bags of groceries a week. And APLA Health medical staff provided expert guidance to ensure that we implemented proper social distancing and other safety measures to keep clents and staff safe.

As one NOLP client wrote last week in a heartfelt thank-you note to staff:

“Our lives are blessed with the sustaining supplies we receive. Our interactions with you on a weekly basis is always a positive one…. Thank you.”

What also hasn’t changed is our gratitude for everything you do for APLA Health and the community we serve. Now more than ever, our supporters guarantee that some of the most vulnerable in Los Angeles County get the essential care and services they desperately need in these uncertain times.

Our website provides APLA Health COVID-19 program updates which you can access at aplahealth.org/coronavirus.

Be safe and be well.

With much continued gratitude,

Craig E. Thompson
Chief Executive Officer