Recognized for Their COVID-19 Testing Efforts in Dallas County
(AUSTIN, Texas – March 10, 2021) – The Texas Hospital Association named Parkland Health & Hospital System as the recipient of the 2020 Excellence in Community Service Award. The Excellence in Community Service Award recognizes hospitals and health care systems that have distinguished themselves through contributions to their community.
COVID-19 disproportionately impacts socioeconomically disadvantaged communities – with higher infection and death rates among Black people and Hispanics in many areas. Knowing that parts of the county have adequate access to private facilities for COVID-19 testing, Parkland targeted: those living in economically challenged, under-served communities at elevated risk.
Parkland is responsible for more than half of all COVID-19 testing in Dallas County. At one point, Parkland was providing the most tests of any federally supported site in the U.S. Parkland’s COVID-19 testing sites include a drive-thru at the main hospital campus, two federally funded mega sites, two mobile testing teams and three walk-up sites. Parkland also deployed mobile teams to nursing homes, assisted living centers, correctional facilities and other treatment facilities. Over the summer, they were averaging 1,000 tests per day.
Parkland sent communications to underserved communities to ensure at-risk groups knew about the services that were available to them. They also focused on advertising and media to educate targeted communities on COVID-19 safety precautions.
Parkland also worked to create alternatives to traditional means of delivering health care. They expanded their telehealth program, increasing phone and video encounters in outpatient services. Parkland provided more than 450 portable pulse oximetry devices to patients with COVID diagnosis and mild symptoms to enable monitoring at home.