Our Community Health Crisis - PDX
An open letter from all of us at Brave Care
Brave Care Families,
We want to keep you all informed about our community health crisis. The Brave Care leadership team met with OHSU’s Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, and they confirmed that all Portland area pediatric hospitals have declared a state of emergency for the levels of pediatric illness they are seeing and have shifted to their “crisis standards of care” in order to care for the most patients possible. You can read more about this here.
Across Portland-area hospitals, all pediatric inpatient, PICU, and NICU beds are full, care teams are now sending patients to Idaho hospitals. Portland area Pediatric Emergency Departments are currently at double their capacity, with an incredibly long wait time, and OHSU estimates that 50-60% of these patients do not need emergency care. Because of this, OHSU has reached out to local pediatric clinics and urgent cares to see how we can all help in this critical time.
Our clinic staff is already stretched thin, operating at our capacity and navigating our own personal and family health challenges… but we are being asked to step up even more. Experts expect RSV to peak in our community next week, and then start to gradually decline. Over the next 2 weeks we expect to see incredible demand in care for sick kids. We are ready to step up so we can help these sick kids and unload some of the burden on the local Emergency Departments.
We are so proud to be a part of our community, as a trusted partner for our most precious people in some of their hardest times.
As we are asking more of our medical staff, we will also ask for some forgiveness in the reduction of some of our lower severity or less time sensitive services. In moments like these cities become small, and the way we help each other is as neighbors should. We are here for you and we ask you to be there for fellow parents and caregivers.
In an effort to help our children’s hospitals we are working to open up more acute care availability across all 3 PDX clinics.
What to do if you think your kid might have RSV?
First, check the RSV Illness Guide. We've built this guide as a thorough resource for caregivers on what to expect if your kiddo has RSV and when to seek help.
What to do if you’re concerned about an illness or minor injury your child has?
Our Panic-Free Symptom Checker was built to support lots of the common illnesses and injuries our children experience. It is always a great first step in finding the right care for your little one.
How does this affect your access to Brave Care?
Pausing Vaccination Services
Brave Care is temporarily pausing vaccination services at our Portland clinics in order to support our community’s need for Urgent Care during this unprecedented RSV and Flu season. We will open vaccinations services back up as soon as possible. You can check online for available appointments. In the meantime, please visit https://www.vaccines.gov for support locating nearby vaccination resources.
Limiting Primary Care Services
Brave Care is temporarily limiting scheduling for Primary Care. If you are an existing Primary Care Family we’ll work with you to ensure that your kiddo has access to any care they need. However if your kiddos are over the age of two and currently healthy, we encourage you to pause on any check-ups or well visits until after this this spike has ended.
Additional Staffing & Hours
We are open to you as always, 7 days a week 10am-8pm. Our care teams are committed to the Portland community and ensure that we can see every kid that needs us during this time. We are working extra hours to support our families and healthcare partners.
How you can support your community.
If your kiddo needs a vaccination, look to vaccines.gov for alternate locations beyond Brave Care or other pediatric practices to receive any required vaccinations until this spike ends. Locations like Pharmacies where medical care is not performed will help free up acute care providers.
If you have a non-critical check-up or well visit scheduled, reschedule it for January when the spike will have evened. This allows your care team to see more sick kids and keeps your kids away from places where they may be exposed to RSV or other.
Hospitals are overwhelmed and wait times are incredibly high at Pediatric Emergency Rooms, Urgent Care Clinics such as Brave Care can provide support for sick or injured kids.
Thank you for your patience & understanding.
- The Brave Care Team