What a different summer we are having here in the Seattle area. It has been significantly hotter and drier than I can ever remember as a born and raised Seattleite. We also went from experiencing “lockdown” last summer, to a sense of relief this summer with COVID restrictions ending for many businesses on June 30th. As a healthcare facility, COVID precautions and mask requirements remain in place at our offices in order to protect our patients, staff, and providers. One thing that seems to be consistent for all industries is the staffing challenge that businesses, including ours, are facing. I would urge you to read the Seattle Times article from Wednesday, August 18th or the Washington Health Alliance’s “Urgent Message” from Tuesday, August 17th to help you understand what we are facing in the healthcare industry on this topic.
We understand that over the summer it has been abnormally difficult to book appointments with us and even more challenging to reach us over the phone. Our goal at Allegro Pediatrics is to provide you with the best customer service possible. However, with the labor market challenges that we are facing, we have not always been able to meet that goal. I ask for your patience as we work through these challenges, today and over the next few months. I also ask for your continued kindness towards our staff and providers as they work hard every day to take care for you in the same courteous way.
In June, we requested your feedback on our general structure of operations. We appreciate those of you that took the time to fill out our short survey. The results of such indicated that 30% of you would not seek care for your children at our clinics if we did not separate our non-infectious clinics from our single sick clinic. Eventually, we have plans to reintegrate, or see patients for all care types at every clinic location, in a safe way that supports the 70% of families that stated they prioritize convenience in addition to the separation. While we were originally hoping to implement our reintegration plan this fall, our plans have been delayed due to the Delta variant causing an increase in COVID cases, the delay in COVID vaccines for children under 12, and many local companies placing a pause on their return-to-work in-person strategies. We will begin launching new operational strategies in the coming months, so we are ready and prepared for integrated clinics when it is prudent to do so. Please be on the lookout for improved processes, including a direct car to exam room process to reduce your time in our waiting rooms.
We are happy to announce that our Sammamish office will reopen for non-infectious care on October 4th. We know it has been a long 18 months without your local clinic and we are excited to welcome you back to the Sammamish office very soon.
We will once again be offering flu vaccine drive-thru clinics this fall with an added twist - parents of established Allegro patients will be eligible to receive the flu vaccine from us. Please be aware that we have not yet received our supply of flu vaccine. We anticipate our drive-thru clinics will begin in early October, with scheduling beginning in mid-September. Once we have a confirmed shipment of flu vaccine, we will update our social media pages and website with scheduling options and information on how to register yourself as a parent to receive a flu shot.
Please be reassured that we continue to take extra precautions in our clinics to protect our patients, staff, and providers against COVID-19. Additionally, all of our providers and staff, unless they meet a medical or religious exemption, are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the state issued deadline of October 18th
As always, I want to thank you for entrusting the care of your child with Allegro Pediatrics. We do not take this trust lightly and always strive to support our mission of partnering with you to heal, nurture and empower your child in their journey to adulthood.
Yours in Health,
Brett Vandenberg, CEO