Many things have been cancelled or delayed in the COVID-19 pandemic. But some things should never be put on hold, like taking care of your health. 

Has it been awhile since you saw a doctor? Now is a great time to reconnect. Clinics are ready to provide the care you need, while keeping you safe. 

Where to go? 
When you’re sick or injured, it’s difficult to know the best place to get care. Here are some reminders on how to take care of your physical, dental and mental health, or substance use treatment. 

Start with your Primary Care Provider 
One of the most important members of your health care team is your primary care provider (PCP). Your PCP will get to know you and any health concerns you may have. Having a good relationship with your PCP is important to your overall health.  

Call your PCP for: 

  • Checkups 
  • Illness 
  • Low-urgency problems like a cold, back pain or a minor infection.
  • Preventive care like vaccines and screenings  
Seeing your PCP regularly can help you find health issues early. It also helps you manage chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure. Those conditions can put you at a higher risk of a more serious reactions to illness, including COVID-19. It’s more important than ever to keep up with the care your provider recommends. Staying on top of your health can also help keep you out of the hospital. 

Call your PCP even if you think you need to be seen urgently. They can advise you on next best steps. Many PCP clinics can talk to you even after hours or on weekends. 

Have a dental emergency? Call your dentist first 
Regular dental care is important to your overall health. Your primary dental provider (PDP) can clean your teeth, check for cavities or other issues, and answer any questions. Your PDP is your dental home. They look out for your oral health and help prevent problems before they start.  

Your PDP can also help if you need emergency dental care. This could be dental pain, a broken tooth or another problem. If you have a dental emergency, call your PDP first. Many clinics can provide care after hours or direct you to the best place to get care. 

Mental health resources 
It’s always a good time to take care of your mental health. Columbia Pacific CCO members can access mental health services including:
  • Counseling 
  • Substance use treatment 
  • Medication-assisted treatment 
  • Mental health crisis services 
You can find a mental health provider by using the find a provider tool, or by calling Customer Service. You can also talk to your PCP for a referral.  

If you have are having a mental health crisis, call the crisis line nearest you: 
  • Columbia County: 503-782-4499
  • Clatsop County: 503-325-5724
  • Tillamook County: 503-842-8201 ext. 294 or 800-962-2851
When there’s an emergency:  
First, try to connect with your PCP or PDP, even if it’s after hours. They know your health best. They can sometimes get you in for a same-day appointment. Or, they can guide you on your next best option, if they can’t see you right away.  

Urgent care clinics are a good option for medical issues like minor injuries. You can also go to urgent care for conditions that need quick attention but are not life-threatening. You will likely be seen sooner in an urgent care clinic than in the ER. 

Emergencies are serious medical problems that need immediate attention. Go to the emergency room for things like:  
  • Chest pain  
  • Trouble breathing  
  • Broken bones  
  • Bleeding that won’t stop 
If you need emergency care, call 911 or go to the hospital right away. You do not need a referral. 

We’re here to help!  
If you don’t have a PCP or a PDP, or need help connecting to a provider, give us a call at 503-488-2882 or toll-free at 855-722-8206, TTY 711. You can also send us a secure message through our member portal at colpachealth.org/portal.

More resources 
 

The importance of a primary care provider 

When to go to the emergency room vs an urgent care clinic 

Oral health: A window to your overall health 

Get to know your pharmacist 

 

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