BUFFALO, N.Y. — Dr. Raul Vazquez has been advocating for weeks to get more COVID-19 tests for communities in Buffalo where there are high rates of underlying health conditions and lack of access to resources.
His practice recently began administering tests to try and close the gap.
Dr. Vazquez recently began having drive-up clinics for his patients. He says he is also working to connect people who do to have primary healthcare providers with doctors in his network so they can get tested if they need to.
The process is part of his Community Health Action Plan, which is designed to make sure communities that were already under strain are not devastated by COVID-19.
The most recent drive-in tests hosted at the Urban Family Practice are just one of many steps he's taking to address concerns equal health care access during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We give them advice through the nurse system and then we connect them through their primary care. And also we’re looking at that list of primary care to say listen if these patients are calling in, would you allow us to order the test, send it to you, and set up a telehealth visit for you because it has to be follow-up, it’s not just the test," he said.
Dr. Vazquez's office also developed an app that currently has a COVID-19 survey. It also takes information about a patient's social factors do physicians can better determine necessary treatment options.
Tests are not readily available for the public. Dr. Vazquez says he is focusing on existing patients who have symptoms and people who don't already have doctors.
Currently, patients can be connected using the telehealth network through GBUAHN.