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June 24, 2020

Behind the Mask: Krista, HIV Primary Care Nurse

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Over the past 11 years Krista has seen many changes at KC CARE, but throughout them all, she says, “Collaboration is how we’ve been able to overcome new challenges.” COVID-19 has changed so many aspects big and small at KC CARE.  

As an HIV Primary Care Nurse, it is Krista’s responsibility to provide care for approximately 1,200 clients receiving HIV services. “Many of them are scared, even those that are stable and taking their medications are fearful. There is just a higher risk for clients living with HIV.”  

KC CARE has responded to these fears by limiting the number of in-person interactions, utilizing PPE, restructuring waiting areas to maximize social distance and more. But Krista says, “We’ve actually had more clients worried about returning to their jobs than coming for their appointment.” As a result, KC CARE is helping patients with FMLA forms, and providing best practices and guidelines to those returning to work.  

Being adaptable and responding to patient needs is a long-time strength of KC CARE, but some problems are so complex that we can’t solve them on our own. Just this month, a client came in for the first time to establish HIV care. They were homeless and they were also experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. In total, a physician, nurse, and two case managers at KC CARE worked to collaborate and coordinate help from Truman Medical Center and the client’s homeless shelter to get rapid COVID-19 testing and an isolated bed until the results returned 

KC CARE’s team took care of all this while building a relationship with the client and providing the important HIV services they originally came in for. KC CARE knows how complex the healthcare system can be, so our providers, nurses, peers, and case managers are constantly working together to find the best solution for each individual patient.  

KC CARE serves nearly 18,000 people each year, but taking care to serve each individual and their specific needs is why Krista and her teammates are so important. “Whether you need to come in or have care provided remotely or virtually, we’re here to make that happen.” 

To support the work of Krista and her team – and all of KC CARE’s staff, text HELPKC to 44-321 or  click here to make a donation today.