We have received word that ICT Street Team will suspend medical services at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Below is a letter from their medical director and ways you can continue to support their work.
An update from our Medical Director Dr. Amanda Ruxton regarding Novel Coronavirus-19:
ICT Street Team was founded with the mission of providing the highest quality primary care to those experiencing homelessness in Wichita. Through that mission, we have reached hundreds of patients, saved the healthcare system tens of thousands of dollars, and have seen a volunteer response that has been truly amazing over the course of the last year. We are proud of the work that we do and will continue to do.
In continuing our mission, ICT Street Team monitors public health concerns in an attempt to keep our patients safe while aiding in the prevention and or spread of communicable diseases within our community. Recently, we have been monitoring COVID-19 abroad and now the daily increasing new cases in Kansas. After great consideration of events related to the spread of coronavirus, the decision has been made to place our mobile clinic operations on hold.
We are working with local and national partners to establish best practices to decrease the spread of this highly contagious virus. The standard of care requires rapid influenza testing, immediate isolation of those with suspected lower respiratory symptoms, and coronavirus testing with additional labs and radiographs. Harvard Medical School recommends that mobile medical clinics that are incapable of providing standard of care may cause increased spread. To further confound this situation, we are experiencing a critical shortage of very important basic medical supplies such as surgical masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and test kits.
Many individuals may think that this decision is rash or is being implemented too quickly. As a physician, I have been monitoring the situation and do believe that we have likely not witnessed the full impact of this virus. With a 14 day incubation period, widely varying symptoms, and rapidly spreading patterns, it is estimated that 40 to 70% of the global population will at some point become infected. When we pair this with the lack of standardized treatment or the inability to vaccinate against this virus, we have a situation that our operation is not equipped to handle. Although many will weather this infection with no long lasting effects, it is our duty as an organization and members of the public to protect those that are more vulnerable, which includes our patients.”
The rapidly developing situation in Italy is showing us that the healthcare system will be overwhelmed unless all precautions are taken to reduce the risk of transmission. Just today, a fifth
case of COVID-19 has been identified and Gov. Kelly has declared a state of emergency. ICT Street Team operates in an environment of large gatherings twice weekly. Not having proper protective measures in place may only add that this scenario and would be irresponsible. As a physician, I have taken an oath to do no harm, and there is the real possibility that continuing to operate in our current fashion may actually lead to increased exposure to our volunteers and patients. In addition, many of our medical volunteers work in hospital and clinical settings which could possibly create a source of transmission to other volunteers and patients as well.
We will continue to provide assistance for our established patients as we work with them to transition to local healthcare institutions with the resources needed to appropriately care during this pandemic. We will also continue work with community partners to provide guidance and resources. Lastly, for the foreseeable future, we will have a representative on Thursday nights at 3rd and Topeka with God N’ Dogs to provide basic hygiene supplies, over-the-counter medications, and education as we are able.
As members of the general public, I would be remiss to not take this opportunity to encourage you to be vigilant about appropriate hand hygiene, avoid crowded events when possible, and to stay home if developing symptoms such as cough, headache or fever. I also encourage you to be vigilant with any new information or directives that come in the days ahead. There is much uncertainty regarding the future of this pandemic but ICT Street Team is still dedicated to providing the highest quality primary care possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any additional questions and we will continue to keep you updated as new information is available.
Dr. Amanda Ruxton, DO
ICT Street Team
You can give to ICT Street Team via this link: