On the front lines at OneWorld

OneWorld Community Health Centers; Learn more: www.oneworldomaha.org

OneWorld’s teams of medical and health experts have quietly worked on the front lines since March offering high-quality care to Omaha’s most needy and most vulnerable. In many ways Omaha’s public health is stronger for OneWorld as our population is often in the COVID-19 high-risk category. From medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and support staff high-quality, culturally respectful healthcare is practiced every day.

COVID-19 raised the bar. At times it has been intimidating but strict safety measures and procedures have won OneWorld the confidence and trust of the patients we serve. And that’s partly how we define success. COVID-19 has also been richly rewarding as it has reinforced for us our passion. It’s truly why we report to work. Our mission has never been more important than it is right now and we are proud to be here and proud to serve.

A few weeks ago some employees were asked to reflect on 2020. Here are some of their insights on managing a world-wide pandemic in Omaha, Nebraska at OneWorld Community Health Centers. It’s a window into the hearts and minds of a team of incredible professionals who, while navigating their own personal fears and anxiety carefully, cautiously and successfully calmed a crush of scared, vulnerable patients.

“There are days it is so busy – like it won’t stop – and it didn’t the other day – and we don’t get a break – they kept coming – and then there are slower days but overall we are busy – and as word gets out that we are testing more are coming. People know now and the meatpacking plant is sending their employees to us now.”

“My kids were scared at the beginning. They would ask… ‘Mom you work at the clinic – what’s going to happen to you?’ And I would explain all the precautions we take, the process – so they understood.”

“In terms of Public Health I have done more in this pandemic than I have done in my entire career.”

“When it hit I knew we had more questions than answers and I was not going to leave my staff alone. I wanted to take a break but I needed and wanted to be there for the staff.”

“I was glad for our preliminary plans as once it hit nothing would stay the same – it was constant change – every 24 hours and that was hard. It was hard to constantly adjust and communicate to staff every day.”

“My approach is I am talking to everyone because we are all anxious. It’s more, ‘How are you coping?’ Not trying to normalize because you should feel stressed, this is not normal.”