Mobile Health Multi-Site COVID-19 Testing Protects Central Park Workers, Boosts Morale

New York’s iconic Central Park never closed during the pandemic, becoming a refuge for New Yorkers. Consequently, park employees never stopped working.

To protect their essential workers, Central Park Conservancy sought a comprehensive yet flexible on-site COVID-19 screening and testing strategy. This request by the park’s caretakers posed unique challenges: how to deliver COVID-19 health screening, supplies, and testing to workers who are scattered geographically, who may lack technology, and who work at park sites that may not have a street or mailing address?

In response, Mobile Health designed an innovative multi-site COVID-19 screening and testing solution to protect hundreds of workers both inside the 843-acre park and at its nearby office.

“In researching vendors, we quickly saw that Mobile Health was developing solutions for the pandemic,” said Suzanne Pennasilico, Vice President of People and Culture for the conservancy, a public-private partnership responsible for the stewardship of Central Park. “They supported us in thinking through our approach, providing best practices, and modeling a program.” For example, early on, Mobile Health recommended PCR testing and temperature screenings over screenings alone as a best practice for containing COVID-19 outbreaks.

Creating Confidence to Return to Work

Mobile Health initially launched daily health questionnaires and temperature screenings for office workers and park workers, combined with voluntary PCR testing. At the pandemic’s peak, Mobile Health deployed pop-up rapid testing sites in both the park and office, staffed by Medical Assistants and RNs.

“Back then, it was really difficult to get a test,” Ms. Pennasilico recalls. “By offering employees the ability to come in, get tested, and get results in a day or two, Mobile Health provided a huge benefit.”

The occupational health provider’s multi-pronged efforts went beyond simply keeping employees safe, she notes. “Mobile Health’s program created confidence for people to come back to work. When someone did test positive,

Mobile Health helped us to contain that outbreak. Their ability to provide a safe workplace in our park and in our office greatly reassured our employees.”

Mobile Health ‘Part of Daily Fabric’

To communicate health questionnaires and testing details to employees, Mobile Health employed electronic message boards, texts, emails, even postings by time clocks. Ultimately, a personal touch prevailed – via Shawnice Richardson, Mobile Health’s on-site Medical Assistant. “We are extraordinarily lucky to have Shawnice,” says Ms. Pennasilico. “If there is a message we need to get out, Shawnice delivers it. She touches every employee, due to daily temperature screenings, and has become part of our daily fabric. Her presence has been great for morale, as well.”

Mobile Health also overcame logistical challenges posed by the conservancy’s multiple work sites both inside the park and out – some without street addresses. “We don’t have FEDEX in the park,” says Ms. Pennasilico. “We are lucky that Mobile Health has been very flexible and solutions-oriented.”

There, too, Ms. Richardson goes the extra mile, boxing completed COVID-19 tests and dropping them at FedEx for shipping on her way home. “Testing couldn’t happen without Shawnice’s extra help.”

Single Vendor, All Services

On the heels of successful on-site COVID-19 testing, Central Park Conservancy is exploring additional Mobile Health occupational health screenings. The conservancy is currently testing Mobile Health’s innovative FIT KIT™ self-administered respirator fit testing solution at several park sites. It also has planned several on-site Hepatitis B vaccination clinics and is reviewing Mobile Health options for drug testing and background checks.

“Our experience with Mobile Health couldn’t have been better,” says Ms. Pennasilico. “Mobile Health provides the advantages of consolidation of services, a single point of contact, and an established relationship. We have a high degree of confidence about adding services.”

  • Sara Stein
    Written by:
    Sara Stein