Special focus on the mental health care crisis faced by frontline workers
The Uyeno Foundation launched its first-ever Virtual Mental Health Symposium on March 25, 2021. The symposium explored the evolving mental healthcare crisis faced by frontline and essential workers such as police officers, firefighters, EMS, and public defenders.
The panel consisted of professionals who work on the frontlines and in the mental health field. Pastor Dennis Gingerich was the moderator of the symposium and is the Lead Chaplain for the Cape Coral Police Department. He is also the Founding Pastor at Cape Christian Fellowship in Cape Coral and still serves as a pastor there today.
“Since 2017, every year more police officers and firefighters have died from suicide than in the line of duty,” said Pastor Dennis Gingerich during his opening statement.
The panelists included Public Defender Kathleen Smith; Domestic Abuse Advocate Sandy Cheetham; Registered Mental Health Counselor Dr. David Hall; Flight Trauma Nurse, Firefighter, and First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force Dave Harrow; Director of Cornerstone Consultants Dr. Amy Trout; and Cape Coral Police Department’s Master Sergeant Jennifer Matlock.
The conversation covered topics from discussing the mental health epidemic, public perception of frontline and essential workers, and identifying “cries for help”, all the way to the stigma and solutions that are needed to serve frontline workers holistically.
“Ninety-three percent of first responders believe mental health is as important as physical health,” said Dr. Amy Trout. “We need to work on breaking down shame and redefining what strength and resiliency is. Strong is being aware of where we are weak and where we can grow to heal and strengthen.”
“Resilient is a great thing to be, but unless you have the mental health and resources to really embody that, it’s just a word,” said First Lieutenant Dave Harrow while highlighting the mental healthcare crisis for first responders.
The symposium closed with words of encouragement from Don and Joanne Uyeno, the founders of the Uyeno Foundation, and an announcement about its upcoming grant funding cycle opening on May 1, 2021. Organizations will be encouraged to subscribe for grant fund notifications via the Uyeno Foundation’s website www.uyenofoundation.org/apply.
The Uyeno Foundation’s mission is to remove barriers to access for mental health support services for all. The foundation seeks to fund initiatives that promote positive mental health through prevention, intervention, treatment, and education.
For the last year, people who have mobility issues or those who are immunocompromised have not been able to safely leave the house.
Many others have not been able to figure out the complicated system to book COVID-19 vaccination appointments.
After months of working tirelessly every day to get doses of the vaccine for homebound seniors and other patients, a Southwest Florida home health company finally got its hands on some shots, a critical need that many say has been overlooked.
Tara McCoy, the CEO of Bayfront Health Port Charlotte in Punta Gorda, is the driving force behind the new, all-in-one ER and urgent care facility in Cape Coral. This facility will provide a service closer to community members who would otherwise have had to travel further for assistance.
The design is simple and easy. Half the space is urgent care. The other half is a full-service emergency room.
The new emergency room and urgent care facility will create 50 new jobs.
Millennium Physician Group has once again rallied around its patients during this pandemic to now offer Millennium patients the opportunity to pre-register themselves for the COVID-19 vaccine. Patients sign up and are then notified when it’s time to get the shot.
All Millennium patients have to do is visit MillenniumPhysician.com to be directed to the vaccine self-registration website. Once on the website, patients will be prompted to enter some basic information to be automatically placed in line. Once a vaccine becomes available, patients will receive an email or text prompting them to choose a time, date and location at which to get vaccinated.
In accordance with new Florida guidelines effective today, patients who are 60 and over, Millennium’s own healthcare workers with direct patients contact, and patients under 60 deemed ‘extremely vulnerable’ to COVID-19 are eligible to pre-register.
“It’s been so heart-breaking to hear stories about our patients and others who’ve become anxious trying to find a vaccine,” says Millennium Chief Medical Officer Alejandro Perez-Trepichio, MD. “We are thrilled to be able to offer this easy option, providing patients the peace of mind they need in a pandemic. No more calling the office, no more logging onto websites. The system will notify them when their vaccine is ready.”
Millennium is the first physician practice to adapt the ShareCare software, which powers the state of Florida’s pre-registration system.
“Our team worked with ShareCare to re-engineer the site in a matter of days to make it do what we needed,” says Millennium Chief Innovation Officer Jeffrey Nelson. “The pandemic has provided us so many opportunities to meet the needs of our patients in new ways. I couldn’t be prouder of the talent and determination our team has shown.”
The first appointments through Millennium’s patient vaccine self-registration website will be scheduled for Monday, March 22. “As we continue to experience this pandemic and its far-reaching negative influences in all of our lives, let’s do everything we can to overcome it,” says Dr. Perez-Trepichio. “Let’s be proactive and get vaccinated; united we’ll reach the finish line.”