Neighborhood Clinics on Coronavirus

Written by on March 27, 2020

Neighborhood Clinics on Coronavirus

By Chloe Nouvelle

March 27, 2020

Photo | Chloe Nouvelle / WLVR

Melissa Miranda runs Neighborhood Health Centers of the Lehigh Valley. It’s a community health center that treats the uninsured and underinsured. 

WLVR’s Chloe Nouvelle reports the doctors and nurses who work there are on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic caring for those who often have nowhere else to go. 

The risks associated with COVID-19 has Melissa Miranda, a registered nurse herself, working overtime to ensure her frontline staff is safe. National shortages on supplies like respirators and masks means Miranda has to get creative. After all, she’s not a major hospital. Her center is in Bethlehem and she says Allentown likely won’t get priority for new medical supplies 

“I was pricing out some of the reusable N95 that you see out in the industry and for the healthcare providers that kind of look a little bit more like a gas mask, and they suck onto your face and then you have the particulate filters that you change. They are anywhere from 50 to $100 plus each,” said Miranda.

But the risk of the coronavirus isn’t the only issue the center’s patients face. Miranda says many of the families they treat live below 200 percent of the poverty level. So as the state closes businesses, it’s not just their health that patients are worried about. Their financial well being is at risk too.


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