Dear MNPS employee:
With the coronavirus situation changing by the minute, you may be wondering what you should do if you get sick and feel like you need to be seen by a health care provider.
In addition to normal sick care, we are able to provide covid-19 testing, if warranted, or simply guide you on what to do if you’re unsure. As hospitals, walk-in clinics and hotlines field more patients and wait times get longer, we may be able to meet your needs faster than other places.
But please know that it’s no longer as simple as heading to your doctor’s office; there are some new processes you need to follow:
Keeping everyone safe
The Employee Wellness Center and our outlying clinics are taking diligent, proactive steps to keep patients, visitors and staff safe and minimize spread of the virus. This includes regularly wiping down surfaces with a hospital-grade disinfectant, making hand sanitizing stations available, limiting visitors, pre-screening all patients and visitors for illness, and masking/rooming patients who exhibit new onset lower respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).*
If you need someone to accompany you to your appointment, you may have one person over the age of 16, and your visitor will be asked to complete a screening upon arrival.
Know the basics
As a starting point, we recommend visiting these two websites, which contain a wealth of information on coronavirus/covid-19 and are updated daily:
Vanderbilt University Medical Center:
Tennessee Department of Health/Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html
If you get sick
To contain the risk of infecting others, we are discouraging walk-ins at this time.
If you feel unwell and think you need to see a provider, or if you are experiencing new lower* respiratory symptoms, such as cough and shortness of breath, call our main number at 615-259-8755. A Vanderbilt staff member will ask you some questions to determine if you need to come in for screening. If so, you will be instructed where to go. Currently, patients experiencing lower respiratory symptoms* (with or without fever) will be screened at the Employee Wellness Center, but this could change in the future.
For after hours assistance, Tennessee Department of Health has launched a Tennessee Coronavirus Public Information Line, available daily 10 a.m.-10 p.m.: 877-857-2945.
For routine illnesses unlikely to be coronavirus, telemedicine may be a faster and safer option for seeking care. All MNPS and Metro Government health plans include coverage for telemedicine visits. You can even pre-register now so you’ll be ready if you need an appointment. See your benefits materials or call the member number on your medical ID card for details on benefit levels and steps to take.
We are continuing to schedule other types of appointments, such as well care, but we’ve made some changes to help keep sick and well patient areas separate:
Well visits and chronic condition follow-ups
All well visits, such as annual exams and well-woman exams, and chronic condition follow-up appointments are being scheduled/rescheduled to our outlying clinics. Staff are calling to let patients know about this change and ask which location is most convenient.
Physical therapy, chiropractic, behavioral health and health coaching appointments
For these types of appointments, come to the staff entrance (from the lower parking lot). You will be checked in and pre-screened for illness, then directed to your appointment. Group health coaching classes have been canceled until further notice.
Berry Hill fitness center
We are canceling group fitness classes, but the fitness floor and walking track will remain open for now. We are monitoring the situation daily, so please visit MNPSHealth.org before you come to the fitness center each day to make sure we are open.
In these challenging times, it’s important to take care of your mental health and emotional well-being. Synchronous Health and the Connect with Karla® program provide telehealth counseling live on video through your smartphone or laptop. Licensed counselors are available at no cost to certificated educators on the district’s health plan. All other MNPS employees are also welcome to use these services with their insurance benefits. Visit www.sync.health/MNPS to enroll and schedule your session.
Your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) also offers free counseling services, and is available to all MNPS employees; health plan enrollment is not required. Visit MNPSBenefits.org for details.
Keeping you updated
We will add more updates in the coming days and weeks. Your safety remains our top priority.
* Coronavirus is generally associated with lower respiratory symptoms. Upper respiratory symptoms, such as nasal congestion and drainage, are unlikely to be caused by coronavirus.
Yours in health,
Lori Netti, RN, MSN, FNP-BC
Director of Clinical Operations
Dr. Martha Shepherd, DO, FAAFP
Medical Director, Population Health