Ratcliff clinic has conducted more than 5,000 COVID-19 tests

Glenn Parrish
Special to the Express
Paris Express

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Arkansas, Community Health Centers like River Valley Primary Care Service in Ratcliff sprung into action, altering business models, arranging for protective gear, implementing telehealth, and instituting mass testing sites and events throughout the state.

Altogether, almost 50,000 people in every corner of Arkansas were tested by CHCs at more than 100 testing sites across the state.

The Ratcliff clinic has been responsible for 5,124 virus tests to date.

CHCs want to continue our high-quality health care services through this challenging pandemic. Unfortunately, more funding will be needed.

As the U.S. Senate deliberates an additional pandemic assistance package, we ask that Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton urge inclusion of additional CHC funding requested by the National Association of Community Health Centers.

Senator John Boozman has been a particular friend of CHCs, last year signing onto a multi-year funding bill. A pending House-passed measure includes substantial funding for CHCs.

"Community Health Centers fill a critical need in Arkansas, specializing in serving rural and vulnerable populations," said LaShannon Spencer, chief executive officer of Community Health Centers of Arkansas.

"CHCs continue to be more than happy to do our part in the ramp-up of testing in Arkansas, urged by Governor Asa Hutchinson. We're grateful for the assistance we've received from Congress. But make no mistake. More help will be needed to continue high levels of service for our hard-to-reach patients," Spencer said.

The slogan for the health centers' testing drive is "Be Sure. Be Tested." The eleven CHCs in Arkansas that participated in the drive have tested a combined 48,340 Arkansans.