How the Inova Cares Clinic for Families Serves the Community During COVID-19 and Beyond

Fadi Saadeh is the Director of Safety Net Clinics and oversees the Inova Cares Clinic for Families.

It’s a devastating reality that people without health insurance often cannot get the care they need. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made this issue more challenging. The Inova Cares Clinic for Families (ICCF) has been integral to helping under-resourced members of the community access needed care, treatment and support to keep them healthy.

What is the Inova Cares Clinic for Families?

ICCF is a primary care clinic that serves under-resourced community members of all ages, specifically those on Medicaid or those who do not have health insurance.

The first time a person visits ICCF, the clinic team will help them qualify for care in one of two ways:

  • Medicaid: They will determine if the patient qualifies for Medicaid. If they do, clinic staff will walk them through the enrollment process and get them set up.
  • Inova Financial Assistance Program: If a person does not qualify for Medicaid, clinic staff will assist them in applying to the Inova Health System’s financial assistance program to get free healthcare.

How ICCF Helps the Community

At ICCF, a knowledgeable healthcare team provides care and support. In addition to providing direct clinical care, ICCF providers can help people access other medical resources they need at low or no cost, including:

  • Behavioral health: A social worker can help treat depression or anxiety.
  • Patient education: A nurse case manager educates patients about chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and helps people make healthy lifestyle changes.
  • Prescriptions: Without health insurance, it can be expensive to get medication. ICCF can provide free or low-cost prescriptions so uninsured patients can get treatment.
  • Specialists: Patients can get referrals to specialists who can treat specific conditions as indicated by the ICCF provider.

The care team also includes community outreach workers who connect patients and community members to community programs for additional support they may need, including assistance with getting enough food, finding safe housing, or meeting transportation needs.

ICCF Gives Children Free Yearly School Physicals

The clinic also offers an annual school physical program. Children in the community can get a free physical, including the immunizations they need to attend school. In 2021, ICCF provided 345 free school physicals and gave 107 school-aged children their necessary childhood immuniations.

Inova Cares Clinic for Families | COVID-19 and Beyond

How ICCF Used Telemedicine During COVID-19

When the pandemic began in 2020, many people were afraid to leave their homes to get routine medical care. The providers at ICCF wanted to ensure that patients with chronic conditions got the care they needed. They created a list of patients with those conditions and reached out to them proactively to set up telemedicine visits over the phone or video.

Through these telemedicine visits, patients consulted with providers to help manage the condition. They also seamlessly continued to receive medications and prescriptions to ensure their health didn’t worsen during the pandemic and to avoid trips to overcrowded ERs. If you would like to schedule a telemedicine visit with a provide from ICCF, please call the clinic closest to you.

Administering COVID-19 Vaccines and Combatting Vaccine Hesitancy

When the COVID-19 vaccine became available, ICCF locations administered the shots to their patients and served as a vaccination site for the broader community. Altogether ICCF vaccinated approximately 4,000 individuals.

ICCF also helped fight vaccine hesitancy in Northern Virginia. They partnered with county health departments and local community and religious leaders to spread the message that the vaccine was safe. These outreach efforts helped to vaccinate people who may have otherwise opted not to receive the shot.

Inova requires all staff members to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Keeping our team members and patients safe is a core principle of our health system. Learn more about our Safe@Inova program and the precautions in place across all our facilities.

ICCF Is Expanding to Help Even More Patients

The need for medical care among under-resourced individuals continues to grow, so ICCF is expanding. Additional family medicine providers, pediatricians and internists are being hired to help meet the increased demands within the community at the current ICCF locations of Alexandria, Annandale, Manassas and Sterling. And two new clinic locations will be opening in Fairfax and Herndon.

Learn more about ICCF or call the location nearest you to ask questions or schedule an appointment.

Make a Gift to Support Inova Cares Clinic

This year, 2021 Inova Honors is recognizing team members behind Inova Cares Clinics and Patient Financial Assistance, two long-standing Inova programs that have, through the years, touched the lives of thousands of patients and families in our community. Make a gift in support of Inova Cares Clinics.

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