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Group bringing health care services to metro area's most vulnerable amid pandemic

OKLAHOMA CITY — Many of the metro’s most vulnerable population come to Valir PACE to get their much-needed health care. But because of the pandemic, that health care is coming to them.

Nearly six months into the pandemic, 73-year-old Susan Cote is getting used to her therapy sessions in her home.

“Everybody comes to me, and I like that,” she said.

Cote is one of nearly 300 at-risk seniors who rely on Valir PACE, an all-inclusive medical and service provider for the metro’s most vulnerable.

“They get medical care, physical therapy, transportation. They get meals,” Kevin Morefield said.

The nonprofit day center shut down in March due to the pandemic, leaving Cote at home and no longer engaging with her peers.

Morefield said the nonprofit quickly came up with a system that would help patients get healthy and engage mentally with their peers.

“We had to basically take our center and uproot it, really taking care of our participants in the home,” Morefield said.

Valir PACE employees have taken meals to those in self quarantine.

Cote has even been communicating with her health care provider and her friends socially.

“Bingo, Tai Chi, and people would play dominoes and develop friends,” she said.

It’s an effort to keep Oklahoma City’s most vulnerable happy, healthy and safe at home until the center can reopen.

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