WINSTON-SALEM, NC (July 24, 2020) – Truliant Federal Credit Union announced a gift of $10,000 to the Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Foundation to support increased rapid COVID-19 testing in underserved communities in the Greater Winston-Salem area.
Novant Health is providing the majority of testing in Forsyth County, including mask distribution and education. The Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Foundation is helping fund additional testing during the coronavirus pandemic, and works locally to save lives and improve overall health in our communities.
“Rapid testing helps identify positive patients on the spot. It’s an essential tool to getting a more complete picture of local spread quickly. As a credit union and community partner, we have a responsibility to put forward solutions that will help ensure the financial stability and physical health of our neighbors,” said Todd Hall, President and CEO of Truliant.
In many areas of the United States, COVID-19 testing sites have been overrun by increased demand for the tests that have accompanied a growing number of cases. Truliant’s donation supports COVID-19 tests at three screening sites in underserved communities, specifically Highland Avenue, East Winston on Waughtown Road, and in the Boston Thurman neighborhood next to Kimberly Park Elementary School. More specifically, the primary beneficiaries live in 27107 and 27105 zip codes. Many are minorities, not native English speakers, lack insurance and are financially insecure.
As of July 17, 2020, 19 percent of patients tested at these three sites were positive – indicating a high- rate community transmission. As of July 11, about 11 percent of lab tests were positive in Forsyth County.
The impact of the contribution will be immediate; Novant Health is testing an average of 112 patients a day per site. Novant Health spends $81.31 for each rapid testing kits, but reimbursement from commercial payors and the CARES Act average $70 per test. A contribution of $10,000 will help Novant Health with tests for 884 patients.
“We’re incredibly grateful for Truliant’s continued partnership in the fight against COVID-19,” said Heather Egan, chief development officer for Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Foundation. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, Novant Health’s screening assessment locations have tested more than 15,000 people in Forsyth County. With Truliant’s support, we’ll be able to provide rapid testing to hundreds more community members.”
Increased testing in Forsyth County is recommended by government and healthcare leaders before Forsyth County and North Carolina as a whole can move into additional phases to open the economy, schools, and jobs. Rapid tests do not typically need to be processed in a lab and help those at elevated risk of COVID-19 infection to get test results more quickly – typically within minutes to a few hours. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported earlier this month that the average delay in test results was now at six to seven days, compared to two to three days in June.
Like Novant Health, Truliant works with a cross section of the community from across North Carolina. The mission of Novant Health is to improve the health of the community, one person at a time, while Truliant works to improve the financial health of its members.
“These tests are essential to understanding where our community stands. By helping support testing, our partnership increases access for those who avoid seeking care because they may not have insurance or a medical provider,” said Sherri Thomas, Chief Human Resources and Organizational Development Officer at Truliant. “Truliant’s gift will help mitigate the spread of the virus in vulnerable communities by addressing one of the biggest challenges we face during this difficult time.”
About Truliant Federal Credit Union
Truliant is a mission-driven, not-for-profit financial institution that promises to always have its member-owners’ best interest at heart. It improves lives by providing financial guidance and affordable financial services. Truliant was chartered in 1952 and now serves 258,000+ members. Truliant has more than 30 Member Financial Centers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.