When the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact the United States, Fetter Health Care Network answered the call in the Lowcountry. With many uncertainties such as testing supplies, personal protective equipment or reimbursement rates, Fetter knew they needed to step up and serve their community. Since March 2020, Fetter has served over 13,600 patients across Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester and Berkeley counties. Fetter currently leads the model for COVID-19 mobile test clinics amongst Federally Qualified Community Health Center (FQHC) in the state. “We understand the importance and need to reach vulnerable populations,” Fetter Chief Executive Officer Aretha Jones-Powers explained. “We are a safety net provider and we are here to serve all communities in our service areas.”
Fetter’s team has also formed invaluable relationships throughout the process, including those with the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, local school districts and government municipalities in the four counties they serve.
It is their obligation to serve the community and always has been. They have been stepping up to serve areas and groups in need since their founding, and even beyond COVID, this mission will carry on.
For over 50 years, Fetter offers services ranging from primary health care for children and adults to behavioral health, women’s health and dental care. Its clients include uninsured, underserved and insured residents in Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton and Dorchester counties.
Even while hosting mobile COVID-19 testing clinics, the FQHC has continued to serve patients through their health centers and their homeless and migrant outreach programs. They have also expanded care to include telehealth appointments for both new and existing patients.
“Over a year ago, we launched our ‘Fetter is Here’ campaign to share this valuable message with our community members,” said Jones-Powers. “We have now seen that play out in an entirely new light in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our presence within the community goes far beyond words, but we have answered the call to take action in providing care for our friends and neighbors.”
Serving in healthcare isn't just a job. It is a calling. And Fetter's team made the commitment and sacrifice to step into that calling and serve the community throughout COVID-19. They have also worked diligently to ensure that their team members feel safe while serving. “We understand that caring for patients suffering from COVID-19 is no small feat, and we are thankful for all of our team members who have answered the call,” shared Jones-Powers. “We have taken various steps to ensure that they feel safe and advocated for along the way.”
Jones-Powers urged patients experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 or those who have had known exposure to attend one of their mobile testing clinics. Each patient is screened by a Fetter provider prior to testing and all sites include both walk-up and drive-up testing. To get more information on Fetter Health Care Network or COVID-19 screenings, visit fetterhealthcare.org.