By Meryl Schulman and Emma Opthof, Center for Health Care Strategies, Inc., July 7, 2020
COVID-19 and the stressors it is placing on individuals’ physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing create a new imperative for health care systems to look to trauma-informed care to support both patients and frontline workers. To learn more about how health care providers are using trauma-informed approaches to care in the current environment, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) recently spoke with Edward Machtinger, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Women’s HIV Program and Center to Advance Trauma-Informed Health Care at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
“Dr. Eddy”, as his patients often call him, is a long-time champion for trauma-informed primary care. During our interview, Dr. Machtinger shared how his clinic is managing the impact of COVID-19, how trauma-informed care has been essential in guiding the health center’s response to the pandemic for both patients and staff, and what he and his team have learned along the way.
Q: Your clinic serves women living with HIV, many of whom are impacted by substance use disorder, homelessness, and trauma. How are you seeing this pandemic play out with this specific population given their array of needs?