Arkansas Academy of Physician Assistants

Arkansas Health Department COVID-19 Management Team: An Update from Jon Allen PA-C

Posted about 1 month ago by Tara Bruner

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I had the opportunity to speak with Jon Allen PA-C who is working with Dr. Nate Smith and the Arkansas Health Department. Jon and his team have been working tirelessly over the past 7 plus weeks on Arkansas COVID-19 management.
The Arkansas Health Department has a strong culture in a team effort. With the assistance and direct help from the National Guard and federal partners the health department has been able to direct the Emergency Operation Center (EOC).
The EOC has set up field hospitals, quarantine guidelines, and contact monitoring. The military has been the largest procure of personal protective equipment to Arkansas and supplies for the health department. They were instrumental in obtaining a Gazelle unit that sterilizes in 95 masks. In addition, the Nation Guard as well as setting up the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences (UAMS) COVID-19 drive up testing sites.
Arkansas infection rates seem to be stable and comparatively to other states and currently working on phase 1 of opening social distancing allowances with businesses and gatherings. Contact tracing will occur to help monitor and instruct quarantining of those exposed.
The future of COVID-19 in the next few months is still unknown, as noted by Dr. Fauci NIAID director, the summer, fall and winter could be difficult, but rest assure that Arkansas has a tight team monitoring COVID-19.
Jon states that although he’s been actively working with the EOC he states there are PAs and other healthcare workers working on the front lines of direct COVID-19 patient care and is truly grateful.
ARAPA has set up a volunteer registry for which has been greatly was greatly appreciated by Jon Allen and the Arkansas health department. This registry will stay in place until further notice but wanted to state his appreciation of his colleagues. He understands when there is a pandemic like this that can be a letdown not having the opportunity to serve but it also is a relief Arkansas seems to be managing COVID-19 appropriately at this time.
Additional PAs instrumental in the Arkansas Health Department management is Colonel John Bondhus PA and volunteer Jessica Winston PA-C.
Of note the relationship with the National Guard and PAs in the state has been strong over the years. Little Rock Airforce Base Captain Randy Ullendorf spoke before the health public health committee back in 1998 which help sway the legislation for PA practice law in Arkansas.

ARAPA honors and thanks Jon Allen, Dr. Smith, Jessica Winston and all PAs and healthcare workers involved in management of Arkansas and COVID-19 as well as each one of our members who are managing healthcare in this difficult time wrap a commend you.

www.healthy.arkansas.gov

Tara Bruner PA-C

2020 ARAPA Immediate Past President


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