Like many parents, Angela Jenkins wasn’t quite sure how she was going to balance caring for her child with her job duties as the COVID-19 pandemic created vast changes to daily life. After spring break, schools delayed reopening and then shifted to remote learning only before letting out for the summer, and many daycare centers remain closed.
Without the usual routine, that left Angela to figure out how she would care for her seven-year-old daughter, Anaysha. Angela’s husband works nights and Angela works during the day as a phone nurse for Texas Health Family Care in Burleson. The pair usually trades off caring for their child, coordinating their schedules to care for their daughter.
“Typically, during the day, she would be at school. I take her, and my husband picks her up. Most of the daycares are closed – and the daycare she attends in the summer is still closed,” Angela said.
To help find options for care team members who care for a child or adult, Texas Health offers Backup Care Services when usual plans for care have fallen through or care is needed at a moment’s notice. The unique situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic means that many care team members have had to seek alternatives to their typical care solutions.
Angela credits her office manager and physician for helping by accommodating her scheduling needs. It frustrated Angela, though: “It’s a mad dash trying to get caught up and not be a burden on the other two phone nurses,” Angela said.
Currently, Texas Health employees can utilize Bright Horizons or Care.com for Backup Care Services with no employee copay. The generosity of the communities Texas Health serves enabled the Texas Health Resources Foundation to create a COVID-19 Response Fund that is currently covering the cost. Employees including Angela are able to access Backup Care Services during this challenging time for free.
Twice a week, Angela’s daughter Anaysha goes to daycare not far from her home through Bright Horizons. She enjoys playing outside and with some favorite dolls she brings with her.
Angela appreciates the opportunity to get to her work her normal schedule and to help answer the many questions that patients have about COVID-19 and other ailments. “There are a lot of questions. It’s just that it’s an unknown, I guess you could say,” Angela said. “Getting to work timely is a bigger benefit for patients because I can help answer their questions.”
Improving the health of communities Texas Health serves and partnering with consumers for a lifetime of health and well-being requires care team members to be present at work in body, mind, and spirit, notes Jenny Doss, director of Total Health.
“With Backup Care Services, employees can be physically present and have peace of mind knowing that if their child or an adult in their care is sick or unable to attend regular child care, Backup Care Services can provide the care needed in a safe and convenient manner,” Doss said.