Can We Talk

Published: July 15, 2020

Cafecito Time con Equality Health

These days the world does not lack for information — you just log on or tune in. It took a pandemic to clearly demonstrate the importance of connecting with a reliable source. Equality Health®, through its interactive virtual seminars called “Cafecito Time con Equality Health”, has become a trusted community resource for information and support during this COVID-19 crisis.

Cafecito Time con Equality Health virtual gatherings gives participants the opportunity to ask questions, learn about social resources and receive trustworthy information regarding how to keep safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anabell Castro Thompson, Senior Vice President of Health Equity at Equality Health, led discussions during two recent virtual events. Each event received a great response from the community.

Just In Time

These virtual seminars, accessible via Facebook Live or the Zoom app, have become timely as Arizona recently rocketed toward the top of the list of the nation’s COVID-19 hot spots. At the time of this writing, Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center reported 21.7% of people tested had positive results, down from a high of 26.6% reported last week.

“We know that these moments can be difficult for everyone who’s trying to comprehend the challenges that COVID-19 presents,” said Castro Thompson, who has vast experience in the health care field. “These times are very much challenging for all of us. We are here to help our community. Equality Health is doing its best to continue to provide access to tests and information to overcome this public health crisis.”

Cafecito Time Confronts Coronavirus Challenges

During the first Cafecito Time seminar, Castro Thompson discussed COVID-19 symptoms and how they differ from other ailments such as the flu, colds or seasonal allergies. She explained, in a clear and conversational manner, how these conditions could be easily confused.

Lilian Navarrete, Utility Assistance Program Coordinator at Maricopa County Human Services Department, presented the resources available to families living in Maricopa County who have been affected by the pandemic. Navarrete highlighted programs for utility payment assistance, mortgage payment assistance, food banks and clothes resources.

“Given the situation we are currently facing with the coronavirus,” said Navarrete, “$30 million has been assigned to help people and their families with the payment of utility services and rent. To receive this aid, we only need to know if you have been affected by COVID-19 and live in Maricopa County.”

Nydia Montijo, Community Outreach Coordinator at the Foundation for Senior Living, shared information on resources and aid available for the elderly during the pandemic. The Foundation has promoted independent living for the elderly and disabled for over 40 years.

“Our programs are based on these four topics: shelter, nourishment, health and wellness, and necessities of family caregivers,” Montijo said. “This last aspect is important to us because individuals who provide aid for elderly or disabled adults sometimes become sicker than those they are taking care of.”

Lydia Guzmán, Director of Advocacy and Civil Engagement at Chicanos Por la Causa, emphasized the importance the different organizations have in providing community resources during this public health emergency, such as guidance to avoid eviction or help finding a new job.

“There are people who, because of this pandemic, have lost their jobs, homes or businesses and need to use this aid to survive,” Guzmán explained. “That’s why it’s important that these resources get to them.”

Cafecito Time Dives Deeper

The second Cafecito Time con Equality Health seminar took place on July 9. Dr. Eduardo Alcantar, Public Health and General Preventive Medicine Specialist at Valle del Sol Community Health, and Livia Arévalo a Nurse Practitioner at Equality Health, explained how to keep healthy and safe from COVID-19. They discussed the importance of the correct use of facemasks and frequent handwashing.

Arévalo stated the risks regarding COVID-19 in the work place. Some of these risk factors include the type of industry, proximity to others and exposure to infected individuals.

Dr. Alcantar, compared the sudden onset of the pandemic to “an earthquake or a hurricane for those who weren’t prepared” and addressed the significance of understanding the pandemic’s sudden devastation.

Alcantar emphasized the importance of personal responsibility and specifically mentioned the use of facemasks for workers who commute with many people in one vehicle and avoiding places with large crowds. He also touched on possible risks related to fevers.

“In children,” Alcantar said, “a high body temperature can lead to seizures. In elderly adults it can cause dehydration, which can lead to fainting and fractures associated with falling.”

Coming Up: You Are Not Alone!

Do you feel afraid and overwhelmed by the COVID-19 crisis? You are not alone! In the third and final Cafecito Time con Equality Health seminar, Ester Ruiz, PhD, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner/Psychologist at Brain Solutions Center and Nora Lozano, Community Health Worker Supervisor at Equality Health, will focus on the different emotions you might experience during this pandemic. The virtual event will take place on July 23 (English at 11a.m. and Spanish at 12:00p.m. MST). Sign up and find out how to face your COVID-19 feelings.

To watch the previous two virtual seminars and register for the July 23 seminar, please visit the website and select your preferred language for the event.

Cafecito Time con Equality Health

Published Prensa Arizona, 07/15/2020