Welcome back to Revive Omaha! Thank you for joining us in the relaunch of our printed editions. While we have held a presence in the online world for the past several years through ReviveOmaha.com, we are excited to be back in print.
For our relaunch issue, we have focused on the one topic that has changed all of our lives this past year, COVID-19. The team at Revive Omaha would like to offer our condolences to those who have lost loved ones to the virus. Our prayers also go out to those who have suffered and those who are still battling side effects of COVID-19.
We want to thank the community for doing your part to keep the village safe. Thank you for the sacrifices that you have made and for following the health guidelines and directives. We ask that you continue to wear your mask, keep your distance, help your neighbors and other residents, and support Black owned businesses.
The team at Revive Omaha lost one of our members last year. Rev. Bruce Norris was a contributing writer, prominently featured in the Spirit column. His words graced our pages since the inception of the magazine. While COVID-19 was not the cause of his passing, we wanted to honor him in this edition. Our brother will be greatly missed, but we know that his words and his legacy will continue to bless others through the pages and website of Revive.
In this issue, we take a look at community collaboration; mental health care during a pandemic; community based medical, mental and behavioral health facilities; making sure our finances are in check, and more.
While we all continue to tackle the issues of this virus, we also want to share some of the positive things that have come out in the midst of the pandemic and showcase individuals and organizations that have, and still contribute to keeping the village safe. While we are unable to highlight every individual in this issue, we would like to continue to recognize others in our online COVID edition.
If you know someone who should be recognized, send us their name, photo and why they should be highlighted to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s all continue to wear a mask, keep our distance and do our part to keep the village safe!
Ted Lampkin: Rising to Meet the Challenge
Charles Drew Health Center
Growing up down the street from Charles Drew Health Center, Inc., it was no question for Ted Lampkin to give back to the community that helped raise him.
“I’m passionate about public health because I am a product of public health services. Coming up, my family and I used the services at Charles Drew.”
As the Associate Director of Behavioral Health Services, Ted has been on the front-line teaching and training team members in new approaches to behavioral health. It’s no surprise that when COVID-19 struck, Ted was front and center.
“My role was to help transition the Behavioral Health department from doing face-to-face therapy to telehealth therapy.”
While COVID-19 began to escalate, increasing evidence highlighted racial and ethnic minority groups are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
“We made it easy for the patients, providing traditional face-to-face, telehealth, and when needed telephonic sessions. A lot of patients had anxiety about COVID-19 and being in the middle of a pandemic, in addition to their other stressers.”
“The benefit of telehealth is we can continue to provide quality service during a pandemic. You take out the barriers to care with telehealth.”
Brenda Avant: Providing Quality Healthcare in the Midst of COVID-19
Charles Drew Health Center
As a North Omaha native, Family Nurse Practitioner, Brenda Avant, understands educating her patients about their healthcare choices is a foundational principle to accessing safe and quality healthcare.
When the pandemic shut down Omaha metro schools, Brenda and the team members at Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. School-based Health Centers had to switch gears. While still providing in-person care, the SBHC Medical providers began utilizing telehealth to remain in contact with their patients.
“The telehealth program at Charles Drew really grew at that time. As Medical providers, we were able to continue serving our student patients through telehealth. The parents really enjoyed it because they felt even through a pandemic their child’s provider is still in tune with their needs.”
As the pandemic surged, the healthcare inequalities within the American health system began to come to the foreground. “It made me proud to see that Charles Drew was a front runner in COVID-19. The community was looking to us to help guide them through.”
“Charles Drew made it very easy for the population we serve to continue receiving care. We may be small, but we are mighty.”
Larry Duncan: Resiliency in the Face of a Crisis
Charles Drew Health Center
Hailing from the south side of Chicago, Larry Duncan, Director of Behavioral Health Services at Charles Drew Health Center, Inc. has always had a passion for helping others. “My passion, at first, started off with a drug and alcohol emphasis based on my own experiences and knowledge. As I grew and received more education, mental health became the next umbrella. It rests with my understanding that there are unique issues that affect black and brown people, and people who are marginalized.”
Within the first year serving at Charles Drew, Larry faced his biggest challenge yet, leading a team while in the mists of coronavirus. “The number one thing we did quickly was become active.” As COVID-19 began to highlight the care gaps within marginalized communities, the Behavioral Health team at Charles Drew looked to bridge those gaps within the community.
“For our population it was a dual threat. On one side of the coin, the crisis becomes an additional stress to a population of people who already live with stress. On the flip side of the coin, the lack of community and social interaction increased depression, anxiety, and a sense of hopelessness.”
The message was simple, but practical: Practice the Five Cs–Connection, Commitment, Communion, Contain, and Continue.
Looking back, one of the greatest strengths of Charles Drew, in Larry’s eyes, was the ability to remain active. While most were waiting, frozen in their activity, Charles Drew advanced forward.
“We got better and better at it. We were doing testing on the front line when testing was just starting. As masks began to be required, we were handing them out to the community members in need. Whatever needed to be done in the face of this virus, we did it.”