COVID 19 Statement Mayors Office

 

 

March 12, 2020


Dear Residents,


Governor Hutchinson confirmed the first presumptive positive case of coronavirus, known as COVID-19, in Arkansas. This is an out-of-state travel related case, and there is no indication that COVID-19 is spreading in Arkansas communities at this time.

Please know that the City of Fort Smith is working with the Arkansas Department of Health, Sebastian County Department of Health, Mercy Hospital Fort Smith and Baptist Health – Fort Smith to prepare continuity operational plans.

Please follow the CDC and Arkansas Department of Health guidelines.


Follow the links below for up-to- date information:


https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/
https://www.cdc.gov/

We can all do some small things that will help in a big way. Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap. Cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
If you suspect you have symptoms of the flu or COVID-19, call your healthcare provider or the hospital to let them know you need to be seen. Proper precautions can be taken before your arrival to keep everyone safe.

Do your part to keep our community healthy.

 

Mayor George McGill

 

 

Fort Smith Convention Center (FSCC) takes the well-being of our visitors seriously, and we are committed to providing the most current information and resources regarding the current status of COVI-19. State and local officials along with FSCC are monitoring the COVID-19 situation daily. We recommended all concerned individuals stay current with the most recent information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Arkansas Department of Health. As of today, there are six (6) presumed positive cases in Arkansas. It’s important to note that there are no travel restrictions to prevent travel of meeting anywhere in the U.S.

FSCC has already taken measures to provide a safer environment for all individuals that attend meetings and events in the Fort Smith facility. We are providing hand sanitizer in multiple public areas throughout the facilities, and are increasing the frequency and level of cleaning, door handles, water fountains, handrails, counters and other “high touch” areas.

While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently believes that the immediate health risk to the general American public is low, it also acknowledges that the potential public health threat presented by COVID-19 is high. As such, extensive measures are being taken to limit the spread and impact of COVID-19. All current medical advice indicates that travel in the U.S. can continue as normal and the CDC is encouraging the same personal best practices that are standard for a typical flu season—frequent washing of hands, use of sanitizing wipes, and consulting with a doctor before traveling when sick, and staying up to date on vaccinations, etc.

Rest assured, we are continuing to monitor this situation and follow the guidance offered by the CDC, as well as state and local public health authorities, and will take precautionary measures and provide updates as they are available.

Additional Helpful Information:


--Arkansas Department of Health. They can be reached at (800) 803-7847. Also regular updates can be found here: www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus.

--Center for Disease Control (CDC). Regular updates can be found here: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/. You can sign up for a weekly update.

Q. How can my family and I prepare for COVID-19.

A. Create a household plan of action to help protect your health and the health of those you care about in the event of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community:

  • Talk with the people who need to be included in your plan, and discuss what to do if a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your community.
  • Plan ways to care for those who might be at greater risk for serious complications, particularly older adults and those with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. Make sure they have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time.
  • Get to know your neighbors and find out if your neighborhood has a website or social media page to stay connected.
  • Create a list of local organizations that you and your household can contact in the event you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
  • Create an emergency contact list of family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, health care providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.

 

Q. What steps can my family take to reduce our risk of getting COVID-19?

A. Practice everyday preventive actions to help reduce your risk of getting sick and remind everyone in your home to do the same. These actions are especially important for older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles).

Q. What should I do if someone in my house gets sick with COVID-19?

A. Most people who get COVID-19 will be able to recover at home. CDC has directions for people who are recovering at home and their caregivers, including:

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face
    • *This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.
  • Use a separate room and bathroom for sick household members (if possible).
  • Clean hands regularly by handwashing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Provide your sick household member with clean disposable facemasks to wear at home, if available, to help prevent spreading COVID-19 to others.
  • Clean the sick room and bathroom, as needed, to avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person.
  • Avoid sharing personal items like utensils, food, and drinks.

Q. How can I prepare in case my child's school, childcare facility, or university is dismissed?

A. Talk to the school or facility about their emergency operations plan. Understand the plan for continuing education and social services (such as student meal programs) during school dismissals. If your child attends a college or university, encourage them to learn about the school’s plan for a COVID-19 outbreak.

Q. How can I prepare for COVID-19 at work?

A. Plan for potential changes at your workplace. Talk to your employer about their emergency operations plan, including sick-leave policies and telework options. Learn how businesses and employers can plan for and respond to COVID-19.

Q. Should I use soap and water or a hand sanitizer to protect against COVID-19?

A. Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

Q. What cleaning products should I use to protect against COVID-19?

A. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. To disinfect, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. See CDC’s recommendations for household cleaning and disinfection.

 

 

Topic: In Case of an Outbreak in Your Community

 

Q. What should I do if there is an outbreak in my community?

A. During an outbreak, stay calm and put your preparedness plan to work. Follow the steps below:

Protect yourself and others.

  • Stay home if you are sick. Keep away from people who are sick. Limit close contact with others as much as possible (about 6 feet).

Put your household plan into action. 

  • Stay informed about the local COVID-19 situation. Be aware of temporary school dismissals in your area, as this may affect your household’s daily routine.
  • Continue practicing everyday preventive actions. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol. Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily using a regular household detergent and water.
  • Notify your workplace as soon as possible if your regular work schedule changes. Ask to work from home or take leave if you or someone in your household gets sick with COVID-19 symptoms, or if your child’s school is dismissed temporarily. Learn how businesses and employers can plan for and respond to COVID-19.
  • Stay in touch with others by phone or email. If you have a chronic medical condition and live alone, ask family, friends, and health care providers to check on you during an outbreak. Stay in touch with family and friends, especially those at increased risk of developing severe illness, such as older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions.

Q. How do I prepare my children in case of COVID-19 outbreak in our community?

A. Outbreaks can be stressful for adults and children. Talk with your children about the outbreak, try to stay calm, and reassure them that they are safe. If appropriate, explain to them that most illness from COVID-19 seems to be mild. Children respond differently to stressful situations than adults.

Q. What steps should parents take to protect children during a community outbreak?

A. This is a new virus and we are still learning about it, but so far, there does not seem to be a lot of illness in children. Most illness, including serious illness, is happening in adults of working age and older adults. If there cases of COVID-19 that impact your child’s school, the school may dismiss students. Keep track of school dismissals in your community. Read or watch local media sources that report school dismissals. If schools are dismissed temporarily, use alternative childcare arrangements, if needed.
If your child/children become sick with COVID-19, notify their childcare facility or school. Talk with teachers about classroom assignments and activities they can do from home to keep up with their schoolwork.
Discourage children and teens from gathering in other public places while school is dismissed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Q. Will schools be dismissed if there is an outbreak in my community?

A. Depending on the situation, public health officials may recommend community actions to reduce exposures to COVID-19, such as school dismissals. Read or watch local media sources that report school dismissals or and watch for communication from your child’s school. If schools are dismissed temporarily, discourage students and staff from gathering or socializing anywhere, like at a friend’s house, a favorite restaurant, or the local shopping mall.

Q. Should I go to work if there is an outbreak in my community?

A. Follow the advice of your local health officials. Stay home if you can. Talk to your employer to discuss working from home, taking leave if you or someone in your household gets sick with COVID-19 symptoms, or if your child’s school is dismissed temporarily. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual in case of a community outbreak. 

 

Topic: Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) and Children

 

Q. What is the risk of my child becoming sick with COVID-19?

A. Based on available evidence, children do not appear to be at higher risk for COVID-19 than adults. While some children and infants have been sick with COVID-19, adults make up most of the known cases to date. You can learn more about who is most at risk for health problems if they have COVID-19 infection on CDC’s current Risk Assessment page.

Q. How can I protect my child from COVID-19 infection?

A. You can encourage your child to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by teaching them to do the same things everyone should do to stay healthy.

  • Clean hands often using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid people who are sick (coughing and sneezing)
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)
  • Launder items including washable plush toys as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.

You can find additional information on preventing COVID-19 at Prevention for 2019 Novel Coronavirus and at Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities. Additional information on how COVID-19 is spread is available at How COVID-19 Spreads.

Q. Are the symptoms of COVID-19 different in children than in adults?

A. No. The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. It’s not known yet whether some children may be at higher risk for severe illness, for example, children with underlying medical conditions and special healthcare needs. There is much more to be learned about how the disease impacts children.

Q. Should children wear masks?

A. No. If your child is healthy, there is no need for them to wear a facemask. Only people who have symptoms of illness or who are providing care to those who are ill should wear masks.

Hotline Provides Answers, Screening for COVID-19
Joint effort between Mercy Fort Smith, Baptist Health begins Thursday

 

NEW = FORT SMITH, Ark. (April 22, 2020) – Beginning Monday, April 27, hours will change for the hotline set up by Mercy Fort Smith and Baptist Health-Fort Smith for River Valley residents concerned about COVID-19. The call center hours will be Mon-Fri 8am. to 6pm.

 

The number to call is (479) 289-6508. The hotline will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and will allow callers to ask questions about COVID-19 and be screened by trained clinical staff who will determine whether the caller should be sent to a testing site staffed by health care workers from Mercy Fort Smith and Baptist Health.

 

Callers will be walked through a questionnaire to help determine whether they should be tested and be given further instructions about how to be tested if they are advised to do so. Only those who fall in the “high risk” category will be advised to be tested.

 

River Valley residents are encouraged to use the hotline to reduce their exposure to the general public. Health care professionals will be able to clinically assess symptoms over the phone and direct callers to the appropriate next steps and have the ability to schedule a COVID test when appropriate. Callers do not have to be a patient at either hospital to use the hotline.

 

Residents are encouraged to use the hotline if they have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 or are experiencing any the following symptoms:

  • Fever, chills or rigors
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Cough
  • Sore Throat
  • New onset of loss of taste or smell


“This will be a great service to anyone with concerns about COVID-19,” said Amy Fore, Mercy Fort Smith Clinic chief operating officer. “We are happy to collaborate with the city of Fort Smith, Sebastian County and Baptist Health to bring this hotline to the community.”


Stephanie Whitaker, vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer at Baptist Health, said “Baptist Health is not a business, it is a healing ministry.”


“By collaborating with elected officials, Mercy hospital and other organizations in the River Valley during this challenging time, we can be the hands and feet of Jesus.”

 

Media Contacts: Alicia Agent, Baptist Health
(479) 441-5445
Alicia.Agent@baptist-health.org

Mardi Taylor, Mercy Fort Smith
(479) 314-1101
Mardi.Taylor@mercy.net
 
 
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Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage boost remotely delivered care during COVID-19 outbreak – including mental health

https://www.arkansasbluecross.com/company/media/press-release/press-releases/2020/03/19/covid-19-mental-health

Mar 19, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Little Rock, Ark. (March 19, 2020) – The current COVID-19 outbreak and the use of social distancing in responding to it have produced an immediate need for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Health Advantage to give fully insured members expanded health insurance benefits to promote greater access to remotely delivered services – including greatly expanded insurance benefits to help them deal with emotional/behavioral issues the outbreak may create or compound.

 

Accordingly, Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage are encouraging fully insured members and healthcare providers to use audio-visual and telephone technology for certain services related to physical and/or behavioral health, in lieu of an in-person visit, where appropriate in the provider’s professional judgment. During this time, Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage also are waiving costs their fully insured members normally would have to pay for such services, when received from an in-network provider. These temporary changes will be in effect through at least May 15, 2020, and could be extended after that, if circumstances warrant.

 

“We are encouraging people to use technology, as advised and assisted by their health care provider, to get the care they need and also use the medically smart practice of social distancing,” said Mark T. Jansen, M.D., vice president and chief medical officer for Arkansas Blue Cross. “A provider may be able to help a member in their home, through a video chat or just a simple phone call. During this current public health emergency, we have temporarily waived all out-of-pocket costs for these services. It’s an option that may be easier and safer for members and their providers. Out-of-pocket costs for in-person coronavirus testing have been waived, as well, so members can get the care they need and do their part to help curb the spread of coronavirus at the same time.”

 

And while social distancing is a weapon in the battle against coronavirus, Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage recognize that it can also affect the peace of mind of members.

 

“Concern for our health and that of our loved ones. Closings of schools and businesses. Cancellations of church activities, sporting events and gatherings. Added economic worries. These things are all products of the coronavirus outbreak, and they each can take a toll on our emotional well-being and mental state,” said Curtis Barnett, Arkansas Blue Cross president and chief executive officer. “Mental health is vitally important, and we want our members’ insurance benefits to make it easier, in this critical period, for them to gain access to professional help if they need it.”

 

Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage fully insured members have access to an in-network, statewide panel of almost 2,300 behavioral health professionals already credentialed and ready to serve their emotional/mental health needs.

 

Please note: Any changes or enhancements to the benefits available to self-funded members served by BlueAdvantage Administrators of Arkansas or by Health Advantage (such as state and public school employees) are up to the employers or plan sponsors who fund those self-funded programs.

 

In addition, the specific conditions under which Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage will implement and pay these temporary, enhanced benefits during the coronavirus crisis are spelled out in more detail on their respective websites and the last page of this press release.

 

Specifics of the expansion of services, through at least May 15, 2020, include:

 

Telephone-based doctor’s visits – Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage will provide payment for any in-network physician (M.D. or D.O) to visit by telephone with patients who are seeking advice or counsel on either physical or mental health needs. In addition to creating this entirely new, temporary benefit for our fully insured members, Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage will also waive all copays, coinsurance and deductibles for these new telephone-based benefits.

 

Telephone-based behavioral/mental health visits – We are also extending this same new, temporary insurance benefit for telephonic counseling by in-network behavioral health professionals. Specifically, Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage will pay for telephone-based counseling to our fully insured members by any in-network psychiatrist, psychologist, advance practice nurse practitioner, licensed clinical social worker or licensed professional counselor. As with telephone-delivered physician services, copays, coinsurance and deductibles will be temporarily waived.

 

Temporary waiver of copays, coinsurance and deductibles for telemedicine (seeing a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant via an interactive audio-visual communication system): The new, temporary insurance benefits outlined above are in addition to the normal telemedicine benefits that Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage fully insured members already have and which they can continue to utilize. However, we are also waiving copays, coinsurance and deductibles for all telemedicine services to fully insured members.


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Temporary Insurance Benefit Policy Details

 

Effective March 16, all Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage insured members will have the following new, temporary insurance benefits available for both physical health needs and any behavioral/mental health counseling needs:

 

Telephone-based doctor’s visits.Our existing exclusion of insurance benefits for telephone-based services is being suspended from now through at least May 15, 2020 to provide payment for any in-network physician (M.D. or D.O.) visit by telephone, for purposes of receiving advice or counsel on either physical or mental health needs. Physicians will receive instructions on how to file insurance claims for these services using new, special codes designated exclusively for telephonic services. In addition to creating this entirely new, temporary benefit for our fully-insured members, Arkansas Blue Cross will also waive (through at least May 15, 2020) all copays, coinsurance and deductibles for these new telephonic benefits.

 

Telephone-based behavioral/mental health visits.We are also extending this same new, temporary insurance benefit for telephonic counseling by in-network behavioral health professionals, not just physicians. Specifically, from March 16, 2020 through at least May 15, 2020, Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage will pay for telephone-based counseling to our fully insured members by any in-network psychiatrist, psychologist, advance practice nurse practitioner, licensed clinical social worker or licensed professional counselor. As with physician claims, copays, coinsurance and deductible will be waived for these new telephonic service benefits, through at least May 15, 2020.

 

Temporary waiver of copays, coinsurance and deductibles for telemedicine. The new, temporary insurance benefits outlined above are in addition to the normal telemedicine (interactive audio-visual contact) benefits that Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage fully insured members already have and which they can continue to utilize. However, Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage are also waiving copays, coinsurance and deductibles for all telemedicine services to its fully insured members through at least May 15, 2020.

 

PLEASE NOTE: These new, temporary insurance benefits and the applicable procedures and limitations, are outlined below:

 

Please note that telephone counseling is ordinarily not a covered benefit under any Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Health Advantage insurance policy/benefit certificate. Accordingly, these expanded benefits are by special exception only, including all conditions outlined below.

 

In order to be covered, all telephonic consultation by physicians, advance practice nurse practitioners, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors or psychologists (“Telephonic Providers”) must be submitted electronically to Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield in accordance with the standard, established claims-filing policies and procedures required for other electronic claims. This includes but is not limited to timely claims filing requirements.

 

All claims for telephonic consultation by Telephonic Providers must be submitted with one of the following CPT codes, as applicable:

 

Telephone Evaluation/Management (E/M) Services

 

99441 Telephone; 5-10 minutes $16.38 

Description: Telephone evaluation and management service by a physician or other qualified healthcare professional who may report evaluation and management services provided to an established patient, parent or guardian not originating from a related E/M service provided within the previous seven days nor leading to an E/M service or procedure within the next 24 hours or soonest available appointment; 5-10 minutes of medical discussion.

 

99442 Telephone; 11-20 minutes $32.61

Description: Telephone evaluation and management service by a physician or other qualified healthcare professional who may report evaluation and management services provided to an established patient, parent or guardian not originating from a related E/M service provided within the previous seven days nor leading to an E/M service or procedure within the next 24 hours or soonest available appointment; 11-20 minutes of medical discussion.

 

99443 Telephone; 21-30 minutes $48.74

Description: Telephone evaluation and management service by a physician or other qualified healthcare professional who may report evaluation and management services provided to an established patient, parent or guardian not originating from a related E/M service provided within the previous seven days nor leading to an E/M service or procedure within the next 24 hours or soonest available appointment; 21-30 minutes of medical discussion.

 

NO claims for any telephonic services other than the three CPT Codes listed above will be accepted, covered or paid by Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage.

 

Normal copays, coinsurance and deductible, as specified in a member’s applicable insurance policy/benefit certificate, will be waived for all Telephonic Provider telephone consultations billed in accordance with these provisions.

 

Payment for all Telephonic Provider services shall be strictly limited to the Allowances (dollar amounts) set forth above with respect to each CPT Code.

 

All claims for Telephonic Provider services will continue to be subject to all terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions of each member’s insurance policy/benefit certificate, except for the following provisions of such policies/certificates which are temporarily waived through May 15, 2020: (i) exclusion for “Telephone and Other Electronic Consultation”; and (ii) copay, coinsurance and deductible provisions.

 

All coverage for Telephonic Provider services, as described in this announcement, will end at midnight on May 15, 2020, unless Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage decide to extend this special benefits extension for COVID-19 telephone counseling beyond that date; we will reassess the situation at that time and, if special benefits are extended, will make another public announcement. If no such extension announcement is made, any claims for Telephonic Provider services submitted for dates of service after May 15, 2020 will be denied, in accordance with standard provisions of applicable insurance policies/benefit certificates.

 

All claims for payment of Telephonic Provider services are subject to the standard terms and conditions of each Telephonic Provider’s network participation agreement with Arkansas Blue Cross and Health Advantage.

 

Unless services are not available from an in-network provider or constitute emergency care that could not be obtained from an in-network provider, no coverage or payment will be extended for telephone services/telephone consultation of any out-of-network provider because this is a limited-duration exception to normal policy/benefit certificate exclusions made in consideration of a public health crisis, and it is not feasible to conduct the necessary credentialing review and computer systems adjustments necessary for including non-participating providers in a temporary benefit that will end on May 15, 2020.

 

This announcement does NOT apply to any self-funded health plan members served by our BlueAdvantage Administrators of Arkansas division. Any decision regarding coverage for COVID-19 telephone consultation services for such self-funded members belongs exclusively to the employer and/or Plan Administrator of each applicable self-funded health plan. 

 

 

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Arkansas Division of Emergency Management Urges Families Statewide to Sign Up for Smart911 to Enable Coronavirus Awareness for 9-1-1 and Emergency Responders

“Take Control, Let Us Know” campaign empowers individuals to share critical medical information for more informed emergency response

 

 

North Little Rock – As Arkansas responds to the spread of the coronavirus, public health and safety officials ask all Arkansans to sign up for the Smart911 national safety profile registry, a free service that allows individuals and families to provide critical medical information to 9-1-1 and first responders. Arkansas is launching the “Take Control, Let Us Know” campaign to empower the community to take action, and provide valuable and accurate health data that increases the awareness of 9-1-1, first responders, and Emergency Management to an individual’s risk level for coronavirus.

 

Members of our community are looking for ways to improve the safety of their families, friends and neighbors as the coronavirus spreads. By signing up for Smart911, individuals can help first responders get the key information they need about every person who may need assistance, not only during this outbreak, but during any emergency.

 

Individuals can create a Smart911 Safety Profile for their household at www.smart911.com or on the Smart911 App  that provides critical medical information for those who may be at higher risk of developing a serious COVID-19 illness. As identified by the CDC, the vulnerable population includes older adults, and those with a history of chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, respiratory conditions, and compromised immune systems. When an individual calls 9-1-1, their Smart911 Safety Profile is automatically displayed, allowing our public safety agencies to send emergency response teams to the right location with enhanced medical data.

 

Individuals can additionally self-identify if they are under quarantine, and whether it is self-imposed or directed by a health professional. The Smart911 App allows quarantined individuals to receive check-in messages on their health status. Smart911 also allows individuals to sign up for alerts from emergency management officials to receive reliable information about the changing coronavirus situation. Individuals who sign up will also receive tailored alerts based on their specific needs and geographic location. With enhanced coronavirus awareness, individuals and first responders have vital information to take proper precautions.

 

“As the coronavirus continues to be a major public health concern, we are doing everything we can to prepare, respond, and mitigate risk to those in our community who need assistance,” said A.J. Gary, Director of the Division of Emergency Management. “The information provided in a Smart911 Safety Profile enables us to know who is at the greatest risk in our community. We can provide individuals with critical updates based on their location and health history. Ultimately, Smart911 gives our state the chance to be proactive, and lets us know who requires our services. We urge all Arkansans to take action, sign up for Smart911, and help us address the coronavirus outbreak.”

 

To sign up or update your Safety profile, visit www.smart911.com or download the Smart911 app in the Apple Store or Google Play.

 

CONTACT: Public Affairs  (publicaffairs@adem.arkansas.gov or 501-683-6700)

The Arkansas Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) is the state's homeland security and preparedness agency. The agency works to identify and lessen the effects of emergencies, disasters and threats to Arkansas by developing effective prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery actions for all disasters and emergencies.  For additional information, contact ADEM at (501) 683-6700 or visit the website at www.adem.arkansas.gov.

 

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Mercy Fort Smith Opens Injury Walk-In Clinic

Walk inclinic

 

FORT SMITH, Ark. (March 25, 2020) – Mercy Clinic Orthopedics has opened a weekday walk-in clinic for non-medical injuries. Patients can be seen same day, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, for injuries including cuts, burns, sprains, fractures, strains and stitches at the Mercy Clinic Orthopedic Office, 3501 W.E. Knight Drive, Fort Smith, on the Orthopedic Hospital campus. The number is 479-709-6700. Patients enter through the physician office entrance.

 

Patients with cough, fever, or other medical symptoms or after-hours injuries can utilize Mercy Convenient Care. Patients are being asked to call ahead of their arrival.

 

Mercy Convenient Care – River Valley
3505 S. 79th St. – 479-709-8686

Mercy Convenient Care – Zero Street
1400 Zero St. – 479-573-3082

 

In an effort to best serve our community, staff members at Mercy Convenient Care at 6801 Rogers Ave. will be providing assistance at other Convenient Care locations. Patients will not be seen at this location.

 

Patients will be screened at the clinic entrance, provide a cellphone number and wait in their car until an exam room is available. Mercy Clinic visitor restrictions will be enforced at these locations.

 

Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems for four consecutive years (2016 to 2019) by IBM Watson Health, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care, managed and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 900 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 45,000 co-workers and 2,400 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In addition, Mercy's IT division, Mercy Technology Services, and Mercy Virtual commercially serve providers and patients from coast to coast.

 

 

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unitedway

 

(Fort Smith, Arkansas) March 25, 2020…United Way of Fort Smith Area is Seeking Volunteers with Medical Background


The United Way of Fort Smith Area has an immediate need for specialized volunteers with a medical background. As we prepare to serve our elderly and homeless, please see the types of volunteers needed below:

  • Retired or out of work health care workers (Physicians, Nurses (all levels), CNA’s, Medical Assistants, etc.) to help in different agencies around the Fort Smith community with COVID pandemic
  • Retired or out of work policeman and security officers
  • Those with current AR licenses are needed but others whose license has expired can still be used in some capacities
  • Would be working with those who are positive or suspected with COVID-19 and be required to use proper personal protective equipment (PPE’s)
  • Help with tasks such as but not limited to passing out medications, taking temperatures, toileting, bathing, and general care for the well-being of people that are in our vulnerable populations (elderly, homeless, etc.)
  • Volunteers with janitorial and clean-up experience
  • Provide times and days you would be willing to be staff; 24/7 coverage will be needed
  • Volunteer (not paid)

“We are very concerned about vulnerable citizens which includes our seniors and homeless. It is our prayer that we won’t need these volunteers, but want to be proactive in the likelihood that we do. Our current healthcare workers are doing a fantastic job locally and we want to provide additional support if our number of virus cases expands. We are blessed to have such great partners like Mercy during this time of great need,” commented Eddie Lee Herndon, President and CEO of United Way of Fort Smith Area.  United Way asks that anyone answering the call to volunteer use his or her best judgement based on their own health status and if they are in a vulnerable population group.

 

Mercy Hospital Fort Smith’s pastoral care and mission team will be working with the United Way for this community outreach program. “While we are preparing to take care of patients in the hospital we don’t want to forget those among us that are the most vulnerable. We support the United Way in this effort to meet community members where they are, including elderly in their homes and the homeless, said Father Paul Fetsko, Vice President of Mission for Mercy Hospital Fort Smith.

 

Please contact United Way of Fort Smith Area by phone at 479-782-1311 or email Shea Foldvary, Director of Resource Development, at sfoldvary@unitedwayfortsmith.org.

 

Thank You,
Mitzy Little
Marketing Director
United Way of Fort Smith Area
Phone 479-782-1311
Fax 479-782-3505
unitedwayfortsmith.org

 

 

 
Arkansas Division of Emergency Management Urges Families Statewide to Sign Up for Smart911 to Enable Coronavirus Awareness for 9-1-1 and Emergency Responders

“Take Control, Let Us Know” campaign empowers individuals to share critical medical information for more informed emergency response

 

 

North Little Rock – As Arkansas responds to the spread of the coronavirus, public health and safety officials ask all Arkansans to sign up for the Smart911 national safety profile registry, a free service that allows individuals and families to provide critical medical information to 9-1-1 and first responders. Arkansas is launching the “Take Control, Let Us Know” campaign to empower the community to take action, and provide valuable and accurate health data that increases the awareness of 9-1-1, first responders, and Emergency Management to an individual’s risk level for coronavirus.

 

Members of our community are looking for ways to improve the safety of their families, friends and neighbors as the coronavirus spreads. By signing up for Smart911, individuals can help first responders get the key information they need about every person who may need assistance, not only during this outbreak, but during any emergency.

 

Individuals can create a Smart911 Safety Profile for their household at www.smart911.com or on the Smart911 App  that provides critical medical information for those who may be at higher risk of developing a serious COVID-19 illness. As identified by the CDC, the vulnerable population includes older adults, and those with a history of chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, respiratory conditions, and compromised immune systems. When an individual calls 9-1-1, their Smart911 Safety Profile is automatically displayed, allowing our public safety agencies to send emergency response teams to the right location with enhanced medical data.

 

Individuals can additionally self-identify if they are under quarantine, and whether it is self-imposed or directed by a health professional. The Smart911 App allows quarantined individuals to receive check-in messages on their health status. Smart911 also allows individuals to sign up for alerts from emergency management officials to receive reliable information about the changing coronavirus situation. Individuals who sign up will also receive tailored alerts based on their specific needs and geographic location. With enhanced coronavirus awareness, individuals and first responders have vital information to take proper precautions.

 

“As the coronavirus continues to be a major public health concern, we are doing everything we can to prepare, respond, and mitigate risk to those in our community who need assistance,” said A.J. Gary, Director of the Division of Emergency Management. “The information provided in a Smart911 Safety Profile enables us to know who is at the greatest risk in our community. We can provide individuals with critical updates based on their location and health history. Ultimately, Smart911 gives our state the chance to be proactive, and lets us know who requires our services. We urge all Arkansans to take action, sign up for Smart911, and help us address the coronavirus outbreak.”

 

To sign up or update your Safety profile, visit www.smart911.com or download the Smart911 app in the Apple Store or Google Play.

 

CONTACT: Public Affairs  (publicaffairs@adem.arkansas.gov or 501-683-6700)

The Arkansas Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) is the state's homeland security and preparedness agency. The agency works to identify and lessen the effects of emergencies, disasters and threats to Arkansas by developing effective prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery actions for all disasters and emergencies.  For additional information, contact ADEM at (501) 683-6700 or visit the website at www.adem.arkansas.gov.