May 2020

Dear Garfinkle Orthodontics Family,

I hope this letter finds you well in body and mind. Never have we been so separated from one another, while at the same time, we are all intimately connected in our circumstance. To have this be true on a global level is profound.

On a personal note, the last two months have been a tale of extremes. On the positive side, it has been nice being home for every dinner, spending more time with my three awesome kids, running nearly every day with my amazing wife, watching the flowers bloom in my backyard, connecting with family and friends from far and wide, and just hanging out in my house more than I ever have in the past 10 years. On the other end of the spectrum, it was very painful pausing my office operations and furloughing the world’s best team. It has been difficult living with the intense uncertainty in our world. It has been frustrating not being able to provide the same level of care to all of you. And it has been exhausting keeping up with the news, regulations, and advice on how to best pause and now re-open a small business. My intention has been to focus on the positive and those things I can control, live in the moment, enjoy my connection to work as a source of purpose, and limit the amount of attention I give
to those things that are out of my control.

When the prospect of re-opening the office was recently presented by our Governor, it was certainly nice seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

We are excited to get back to the work that brings us inspiration and fulfillment. The part we love most about our work are the relationships with all of you and being able to be of service. After being on pause for two months, we are excited to share that our clinic will start seeing active patients on May 18th.

We ask for your patience with this process. Not only did we have to cancel over 600 appointments, but as we start, we are being asked to operate at 25-50% of our pre-COVID-19 capacity. We realize and appreciate that there will be a strong desire to get/keep your treatment on track. Please know and believe that this is our focus as well. We will be scheduling patients on a first-canceled-first-rescheduled basis, which is both fair and efficient. We ask that you wait patiently for our team to contact you about
scheduling. The order in which we schedule will not change based on who calls in. Please DO email (or call if you prefer) if you feel you have an urgent issue (pain requiring immediate attention), otherwise keeping the phone lines open will allow our team to make appointment calls as quickly as possible.

In compliance with our governing organizations, we are implementing many changes you will notice around the office to ensure for the safety of both your family and ours. What will not change is our commitment to our vision of crafting smile that elevate the spirit. What will not change is our attention to detail and focus on customer service. And what will not change is our positive attitude and smiles, though you may not get to see them as much as they will be hiding behind a mask!

The following office protocol has been carefully created to be in compliance with the recommendations made by the FDA, CDC, OHA, ADA, ODA, AAO, and OSHA. We will therefore be firm in the execution of this plan and will not have as much flexibility with the schedule as we once had. Hopefully over time the constraints will ease.

Office Visits:

Creating and maintaining safety in our office is built on preventing any COVID-19 positive people from being in the office in combination with adherence to strict infection control protocols.

  • When scheduling your visit, then again when you arrive for your visit, we will ask you some wellness screening questions.
  • Please plan to arrive 5 minutes before your appointment. When you arrive to the parking lot, text us at 503-246-9802 and wait in your car. Our Patient Wellness Coordinator will come to your car and escort you into the office.
  • We request that only the patient enter our office. If necessary, one parent/caregiver can accompany the patient. We will ask that everyone entering the office answer the same wellness screening questions. We will make effort to elicit parental questions/concerns and make sure to inform the parent what was accomplished at the visit after completion if they remain in the car.
  • We request that anyone entering our office wear a facemask. If you do not have your own, we will provide one to you, but since PPE is limited, please make effort to bring your own.
  • Everyone entering our office will have their temperature taken. If your temperature is above normal, your appointment will likely need to be rescheduled. Consider taking your temperature prior to leaving your home to avoid this.
  • The tooth-brushing station will be closed for now, so please brush your teeth prior to your visit.
  • We would prefer you plan to use the restroom prior to coming to your appointment so our time together is not interrupted, please plan accordingly.
  • Before starting some procedures, we may ask you to use a special mouth rinse. Do not worry, it does not taste bad!
  • Please attempt to maintain 6-foot social distancing guidelines when in the office. The office will be set up to facilitate this. There will be limited use of the reception area and we will only be using every other chair in the clinic.
  • While we will make every effort to accomplish as much as possible at each visit, we ask for your understanding as we all adjust to these changes. If you are late to your appointment or have other complicating circumstances (e.g. multiple things broken), we may not have time to address all your treatment needs. Please make sure our office is aware of any appliance breakage or other circumstances that may require more clinic time for your appointment.
  • We are adhering to strict PPE and cleaning protocols in compliance with both local and federal guidelines to keep you and our team safe.
  • We have added the ability to perform virtual consultations, so if you are interested in learning if you are a good candidate for orthodontic treatment, we can do that from the comfort of your couch now, very cool!
  • We have also added virtual care appointments, which can substitute for some of your regular adjustments. We will offer this to you if appropriate, but don’t hesitate to ask us about if you are interested.
  • We will plan to schedule the next visit as each patient leaves the office, so if the time does not work, please contact our office to reschedule

 

Social:

The beverage center and iPads will currently not be available in the reception area.
WE LOVE OUR PATIENTS! We also love to chat with you at your appointment. Please understand that some conversations may be reduced to allow for social distancing, running on time, disinfection of treatment chairs and instruments, etc.
We will still be playing great music in the office, and happy to take any requests!

Our Team:

Each member of the Garfinkle Orthodontics team, including Dr. Judah, will undergo the same wellness screening every day and have our temperature taken in the morning, and again at lunch time. Any team member who has a positive wellness screen response or a fever will not be eligible to work.
So, there it is, our plan that will allow us to press play again at Garfinkle Orthodontics. This is what it looks like today. As we have all grown accustomed, things seem to quickly develop these days, so expect changes to this plan, along with regular communication from us.

We are so grateful for you and are excited to get back to the work we love. Now more than ever, we value your support of our local business and would appreciate you spreading the word about Garfinkle Orthodontics throughout the community. We are open for business, energetic as ever, and excited
about our virtual treatment options and the power of a smile!

If you have any questions about our office plan or your treatment, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team or me directly.

I am confident that with your help, we can all stay safe and keep Portland smiling!

Warmly,
Dr. Judah, Denise, Mariela, Jamie, Connie, Erin, Kylee, Koreena, Emily Q., Micole, Aly, and Emily M.