When it became apparent the coronavirus was going to blow up, some of Christina Floyd’s colleagues at the Fort Mojave Indian Health Center, where she is the director, wondered if they were going to stay open. The facility provides primary care to approximately 3,300 patients in remote areas in Nevada, California and Arizona.
“With our primary care focus, we constantly refer patients. Our staff had never provided an emergency response,” she says. “COVID put us to the test.”
It also tested her expertise and leadership skills. Floyd, a 2014 graduate of DMU’s master of public health program, joined the health center in July 2019; she had just completed her probationary period required of new employees. Despite external and internal obstacles, she was determined to continue serving patients, including the implementation of COVID-19 testing for patients and staff.
“It was a very tense time,” she says. “I had to gain my colleagues’ trust very quickly. Yes, I was the rookie, but I was not going to allow us to get into the mindset of falling back. We are health care for the community.”
Floyd is no rookie in public health, however. Her commitment to patients and two-plus decades of public health experience equipped her to prevail.
“My public health hat kicked in. What is our emergency preparedness plan? I’m not a pessimist, but I like to be prepared,” she says. “It’s being transparent, too. I told our staff that I was as afraid of this pandemic as they were.”