For the past 4 years, Formé Medical Center & Urgent Care has fulfilled its mission of caring for and providing dignified, high-quality medical care to America’s least-favored immigrant population. A mission that despite the difficulties which the Coronavirus crisis has generated in the country especially in New York, we have not abandoned. That is why, during the moment that our community needs it most, we continue to create new strategies that allow us to improve the health and well-being of this vulnerable population.
Telemedicine was the first tool we implemented when we were forced by the circumstances to close our medical center, but we reinvented ourselves and started offering a quality service available to everyone in a virtual way.
Thankfully, we have been fortunate enough to serve hundreds of people of different nationalities, ethnicities and socioeconomic status. Nonetheless, we noticed that of approximately 300 calls we received a day, 90% were from people who claimed to have symptoms of Coronavirus or who had been in contact with a person who had been infected and needed to be tested.
At that time, the members of the Formé team understood the fear facing the Hispanic community in relation to the COVID-19 topic. It is the lack of information and, in many cases, the lack of education which leads them to panic accompanied by an unsteady immigration status, forcing them to stay in their homes or rooms without any medical monitoring or health control allowing them to be calm and safe. Therefore, the implementation of a plan that would allow us to remove language and economic barriers became increasingly pressing.
According to Worldmeters, 46,249 Coronavirus deaths have been reported in the United States to date. In New York State alone, 34% of 11,000 of those deaths belonged to the Hispanic community resulting in the death of 3,740 Latinos. Surely, hundreds of them did not seek medical help because of the risk posed by their illegal status.
While the National Government has implemented measures to stop the deportations of illegal immigrants in the country and USCIS calling upon all those with coronavirus-like symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath) to seek the necessary medical treatment or prevention services, the challenge facing the Hispanic community is great and, in many cases, impossible.
Therefore, Formé Medical Center has managed to put into place a Coronavirus Testing Center in which the above mentioned barriers are removed; guaranteeing access to laboratory testing which will work as follows.
- Contact us at 914-723-4900. This line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with bilingual operators available to attend you in Spanish or English. During the call, you will be asked questions about your current symptoms such as fever, muscle aches, cough, difficulty breathing, headache, loss of smell or taste, among many others.
- Schedule an appointment for testing. It is important to note that due to WHO recommendations, we will not be able to receive more than 5 people at one time. Priority will be given to people attending by scheduled appointment ONLY between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
- You DO NOT need a vehicle to take the test, you can reach the medical center by public transportation and travel through the pedestrian crossings arranged for the people who will be tested.
- Individuals who do not have health insurance coverage shall pay the minimum cost of the test which is $25, plus the laboratory fee.
- Within 2 to 3 days after testing, a Formé member will contact you with the results of your test and provide recommendations for care along with any necessary precautions dependent on the result.
This testing option is to give this vulnerable population a peace of mind. The pandemic is a public health issue so the priority is the care of the sick, not the identification or prosecution of illegal immigrants in the country.
We invite all those who need help to call us and find a solution to your specific case. Remember that Formé Medical Center & Urgent Care has a non-profit organization that seeks to ensure access to medical care and medications for this population at risk. If you need help, go to www.promisetoaid.org and tell us about your case. For those who wish to help us in our mission, please go to the same website and make a donation for the care of hundreds of people who need it.
At Formé, our mission is your health!