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This New Local Program Aims to Close the Racial Divide in COVID-19 Cases

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The Pandemic Supportive Services Program helps patients at higher risk of medical and economic hardship.

The first of its kind in the county, Family Services of Westchester has recently introduced a program specifically designed to help combat the disproportionate economic and health problems faced by residents of color during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pandemic Supportive Services Program was originally designed to help members of high-risk communities receive medical, home, and other support services in Port Chester and Mount Vernon, but has since expanded to other portions of Westchester and its population.

“FSW has a long history of supporting the community as a lifeline during a collective crisis,” says FSW President and CEO Polly Kerrigan. “Through this new program we are giving vulnerable clients the tools to cope and survive, particularly communities of color.”

The program offers “a full slate of social and mental health services” to those quarantined at home after testing positive for COVID-19, including case management and referrals to healthcare providers as needed, multiple daily wellness checks, PPE supplies, counseling and therapy, three free and contactless meal deliveries per day, child care, contact tracing, and more.

Photo courtesy Family Services of Westchester

According to the CDC, “Long-standing systemic health and social inequities have put some members of racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting COVID-19 or experiencing severe illness, regardless of age.” Black and Latin American/Hispanic populations have been shown to be more than four times more likely to require hospitalization than non-Hispanic Caucasian Americans.

Residents who have tested positive and are interested in receiving services can find more information online or by calling Program Supervisor Shellese Dixon-Rawls at 914.738.1728 ext. 29. Those who have not tested positive but are in need of the services can reach out to FSW at 914.9372320.