Press Releases: Northern California
July 24, 2012
Kaiser Permanente Invests $660,000 to Help Community Clinics Connect Low-Income Patients with Health Resources
Eleven new grants support safety-net organizations throughout Northern California as they increase access to community and public resources
OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente is supporting 11 community clinics across Northern California to increase their ability to connect patients to important community and public resources, including food banks, job training programs, and homeless and domestic violence shelters. The grants also will enable the clinics to screen patients for public benefit programs such as CalFresh/SNAP food stamps, Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.
Clinics will help their patients learn about these programs, determine if they are eligible, and navigate the enrollment and renewal processes for them.
“Kaiser Permanente is committed to keeping people healthy — and health means much more than just health care,” said David Shearn, MD, director of Physician Education and Development and Community Benefit physician liaison for Kaiser Permanente Northern California. “It’s also healthy food, safe places to live, a job to support one’s family. When people have their essential needs met, the whole community benefits, and community clinics offer a trusted place for people to access these essential services. Kaiser Permanente is proud to support the safety net in this work, which helps create better health for all.”
For example, the Kaiser Permanente grant will enable North East Medical Services in San Francisco and the South Bay to help more low-income families enroll in the food stamp program. Clinic providers recognize that a healthy diet is key to children’s well-being. During children’s check-ups, parents will be given information on food stamps, translated into multiple languages. Staff also will be trained to help parents sign up for food stamps, and the clinic’s electronic medical record will prompt medical staff to talk to parents about food stamps during the visit.
"When people come to us for medical care, we often see ways they could be helped by resources that they may not even know exist, or where the application processes might seem too daunting,” said Eddie W. Chan, MD, president and CEO of North East Medical Services. “It’s one thing for us to advise a parent with limited resources to offer their child more fruits and vegetables. It’s another to enroll the family in the food stamp program right here in the doctor’s office. The Kaiser Permanente grant will allow us to do exactly that.”
Petaluma Health Center plans to hold a drop-in resource clinic for patients and to train clinic staff how to enroll patients in public benefit programs.
In the San Joaquin Valley, United Health Centers will set up a system with the Women, Infants, and Children program to share data and referrals. This way, if a mother comes to WIC for groceries and is in need of medical care for herself or her child, WIC can make her a same-day appointment at the clinic. If the clinic suggests that a family sign up for food and nutrition information from WIC, the clinic will track the referral to make sure the family gets the resources they need.
The full list of recipients of the $60,000, one-year grants:
- Curry Senior Center (San Francisco)
- North East Medical Services (San Francisco, Daly City, San Jose)
- Ravenswood Family Health Center (San Mateo County)
- Gardner Family Health Network (San Jose, Santa Clara, Gilroy)
- La Clinica de la Raza (Alameda, Contra Costa County and Solano Counties)
- LifeLong Medical Care (Alameda County)
- Tri-City Health Center (Fremont, Newark, Union City)
- Petaluma Health Center (Petaluma area)
- Midtown Medical Center for Children and Families (Sacramento)
- Sacramento Native American Health Center (Sacramento area)
- United Health Centers of the San Joaquin Valley (San Joaquin Valley)
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to www.kp.org/newscenter.