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Building for Homeless Health – LA Clinics Paving the Way for Innovative Solutions

Posted: July 16, 2018

CCALAC’s Member Clinics are leading efforts to address homelessness. Two clinics lend their perspective on how they are building sustainable solutions.
The Children’s Clinic – Providing Upstream, Actionable Answers to Address the Homeless Crisis

Contributed by Elisa Nicholas, MD, MSPH, Chief Executive Officer, The Children’s Clinic

The city of Long Beach is home to over 1,843 homeless individuals according to the 2017 Homeless Count. Additionally, 55% of the population in Long Beach is rent burdened. The Children’s Clinic, Serving Children & Their Families (TCC) served 1,336 homeless patients in 6,000 visits in 2017 through specialized sites for the homeless, a mobile clinic serving the homeless, and our ten other sites. These efforts are in collaboration with the City of Long each Department of Health and Human Services, Mental Health America, Century Villages of Cabrillo, and partner FQHC North East Valley Health Corporation, and many others.

TCC serves as a Patient Centered Medical Home for all ages focusing on moving further upstream with prevention and early intervention services to prevent health and psychosocial issues from becoming chronic health conditions that place individuals at risk for homelessness. TCC works to address issues and connect individuals and families experiencing risk of homelessness or homelessness to services and community resources to help them stabilize their lives.

We know many of the families we serve are at risk of homelessness and/or live in crowded and often unhealthy conditions. This is increasing on a daily basis as rents in Long Beach continue to rise. In our Selective Home Visiting program for at risk newborns, 13% of families referred with a newborn were homeless. In addition the most challenging issues our behavioral health and Medical Legal Partnership staff encounter are families facing homelessness, many of whom are pregnant, female victims of domestic violence, single mothers with young children, or mothers with multiple children with chronic illnesses/severe disabilities.

We know that for optimal child health and wellbeing, housing security is essential. For those children without stable housing, who frequently move, or who are homeless, this leads not only to psychosocial, developmental, and educational issues, but also to poor health outcomes in childhood and even into adulthood.

TCC is working with our many partners to address the continuum of care (COC) through our street outreach work with Mental Health America, our mobile family health center working with Long Beach Rescue Mission and Christian Outreach in Action, our clinic at the Long Beach Multi-Service Center for the Homeless and our clinic site at Century Villages of Cabrillo partners health care with permanent housing for the homeless.

In the building phase is a new clinic in Long Beach co-located with Mental Health America for severely mentally ill homeless and formerly homeless patients. Finally, we are in the planning phase of a clinic and wellness center in central Long Beach with affordable housing in partnership with BRIDGE Housing.

With increased rates and risk of acute and chronic health problems, prevalence and severity of asthma and skin conditions, abuse , exposure to violence and accidents, and emotional distress and developmental delay, corresponding with decreased academic achievement, this is a population that deserves to be served. We know we have a crisis and are fortunate to be a in a community that has recognized the issue and is working together to address it. We continue to educate and advocate for the needs of children, families, and the chronically homeless in our community.

Venice Family Clinic – Leader and Mentor in On-the-Ground Approaches to Homeless Health

Contributed by Coley King, DO, Director of Homeless Services, Venice Family Clinic

There is an acknowledged homeless problem in Los Angeles. Thousands live on the street and in unpermitted spaces, both in the city and in Los Angeles County. And thanks to the Homeless Initiative (a countywide movement to combat and prevent homelessness), we now have the funding to do something about it.

We know those on the street have a much higher burden of illness than the general population. Among them, the most at-risk are what we call “tri-morbid,” meaning they have co-occurring mental health issues, substance dependency and a major medical illness. There is a high medical need within this population.

Part of the Homeless Initiative is to provide outreach services to these patients across LA County. But the county’s efforts have to extend beyond simply sending social workers into the field. The teams going out must have a focus on street medicine.

Focus on the medicine

Through the efforts of the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) and Venice Family Clinic, we’ve created multi-disciplinary teams by partnering a social service agency with a community health center. An agency provides social workers and case managers while we supply the provider—either a physician, a nurse practitioner, or a physician’s assistant—to deliver treatment in the field.

When we have these teams in place, we’ve seen a lot of success. Currently, we have medical providers on teams on the Westside and a few in Mid-City, too. In those areas, we are curing patients who have Hepatitis C. We’re making inroads in substance dependency through Medically-Assisted Treatment. But more importantly, our primary providers are extending beyond their previous comfort zones and doing much more mental health care if a psychiatrist isn’t available.

Bring psychiatry into the field

Another challenge is bringing a psychiatrist onto a multi-disciplinary team, either from a community health center or from the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. Psychiatrists are vital and are in shorter supply than the primary care providers.

We have two psychiatrists out there in the field. But when they’re not available, it’s up to the provider to deliver mental health care. If I’m out there as the street medicine provider and my patient is schizophrenic, then I’m the psychiatrist. No one will address their schizophrenia unless I do.

We give them an injectable treatment that’s long-acting, but only because we see a gap in care and are courageous enough to do something. The good news is we’ve had great success with long-acting, injectable psychiatric meds in the field.

The county is working on making psychiatrists available, but more needs to be done.

Housing is key

Of course, the primary goal for the patient is housing. Housing is the primary intervention.

When people become housed, we see an immediate boost in their health. But, along the way, we need to address their medical needs, improve their mental health status, have them on good psychiatric medications if necessary, and show some improvement in their addiction, if not full sobriety.

If we can do all that, then they’re going to be much more successful in housing. They’re going to be much happier. And then it becomes true, supportive housing.

I have one patient that we met in Malibu, where he’d been living up in a camp in the bushes for years. We housed him in senior housing in Claremont that has case management and supportive services. He takes a combination of buses and trains to get to our clinic. Yes, people will take three buses to come visit you if they consider you their medical home. And Venice Family Clinic is home for many.

We’re here to help

Over the last few years, outreach services have exploded, and all the agencies are hiring, trying to build teams. Here at Venice Family Clinic, we’re trying to mobilize community clinics to put providers in the field.

We’re here to help mentor these clinics in this process. We are a leader in homeless outreach and street medicine. In the past, we have mentored several agencies, including Northeast Valley Community Clinic, Saban Community Clinic, and Los Angeles Christian Health Centers. We openly invite providers to shadow us if they’re interested in learning about street medicine.

So, to all our fellow community health centers, join us. Spend two half-days riding along with us. See our best practices, how we partner with social service agencies.

The average age of morbidity from chronic homelessness is 48. The patients need us out there. The community expects us to be out there. It’s simply good medicine.

 

To learn more about how LA Clinics are serving this vulnerable population, check out CCALAC’s Network Adequacy Report prepared in partnership with Health Management Associates (HMA) and with support from L.A. Care Health Plan to benefit low-income and uninsured residents of Los Angeles County.

Extracting and Treating Los Angeles’ Dental Crisis at its Root

Posted: July 3, 2018

Contributed by Dr. Maritza Cabezas, Oral Health Program Director at Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

Los Angeles, CA – Each year, thousands of those living in Los Angeles County wait eagerly to see a dentist at Care Harbor, an annual free clinic. Despite major strides in health coverage, why do many Californians continue to depend on free clinics for dental services? On Friday, May 4th, 2018, Dr. Maritza Cabezas, Dental Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Oral Health Program (whose mission is to plan, implement, and coordinate all public health interventions that will prevent diseases of the oral cavity in LA County residents) addressed this conundrum with findings from a study of Care Harbor dental patients at CCALAC’s Policy Café entitled, Waiting in Pain: Getting to the Root of LA’s Dental Crisis.

The dental patient survey, conducted at last year’s November Care Harbor event, examined how predictors, such as demographics and patients’ personal experience, may influence access to and delivery of dental health care services. The following are key observations and conclusions from the survey results:

  • Approximately 2,200 Los Angeles residents attended Care Harbor 2017, and about half of those in attendance received dental exams.
  • There were 810 survey respondents: almost two-thirds were male, and respondents were primarily Hispanic.
  • Out of the almost 300 patients surveyed who had Medi-Cal, over 60% of these attendees did not know they had dental insurance.
  • Almost 70% of the total respondents said they needed dental care in the past year but did not receive it primarily because they could not afford it, and secondary and tertiary reasons were because they did not have dental insurance or that their insurance did not cover dental services.
  • Most respondents lived in dental deserts, areas with high population density, low-income, and with no or insufficient dental services.

In addition, an assessment of the role of safety net clinics in LA County after implementation of the ACA, looking at Countywide data and funded by LA Care Health Plan to benefit low-income and uninsured residents of Los Angeles County – found that dental encounters in Los Angeles County had increased from 2012 (308,908) to 2015 (437,514). But, the report states that “nearly two-fifths of adult residents report not seeing a dentist or going to a dental clinic within the past year…For children ages 0-17, roughly 1 in 10 did not access dental care in the last year due to financial reasons.”

Dr. Cabezas and the Oral Health Program team will address the implications of these findings through the first Los Angeles County Oral Health Improvement Plan, which is being established to thoughtfully respond to the dental needs of Angelenos. It is clear from the results of the survey that there is a need to work closely with local agencies to assist vulnerable clients with establishing dental homes (the ongoing relationship between a dentist and a patient to provide comprehensive, continuously accessible, effective care), and to partner with Medi-Cal to diligently educate patients that they also have Denti-Cal.

Along with establishing these partnerships, Dr. Cabezas plans to team up with Care Harbor to emphasize the need for dental follow-ups and referrals, and enrollment into coverage. Her program will conduct further research with a more detailed survey regarding the types of coverage attendees have during the Care Harbor 2018 event later this Fall.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel in eradicating the dental desert dilemma and shortening the dental patient queues at Care Harbor and other similar free clinic events, particularly given the recent restoration of dental coverage through Medi-Cal. With focused and expansively collaborative efforts, Dr. Cabezas intends to extract and treat Los Angeles’ dental crisis at its root.

Statement: Increased State Revenues Positive for CA – CCALAC Urges Administration to Reconsider 340B Program Elimination

Posted: May 14, 2018

LOS ANGELES – May 14, 2018 – Last Friday, Governor Jerry Brown released the May Revision to the 2018-19 State Budget. Despite acknowledging a projected additional $8 billion in higher revenue, the Governor continues his familiar calls for fiscal restraint and warning of future recessions.

Though limited on-going commitments are being made with the additional revenue, we are pleased to see homelessness and mental health services highlighted as areas for new investments. However, we are concerned that the May Revise continues to include the proposed elimination of the 340B Drug Discount Program in Medi-Cal, which allows community health centers to access pharmaceuticals at discounted pricing. Eliminating the use of the 340B program would be extremely detrimental to community health centers that depend on 340B savings to enhance patient services, expand hours of operations, and provide other critical patient support programs in their communities. It would also mean less resources in our communities and in California – when health centers get 340B discounts, all of the savings stay with the health center and its patients; when the state collects drug rebates, only about 1/3 of state drug rebate dollars stay in California, the rest must be shared with the federal government.

We urge the Administration to reconsider its efforts to eliminate use of the 340B program which will take a critical source of savings away from public health care systems and other safety net providers. At a time when our state is fiscally strong, it is even more imperative that we support our safety net by keeping these critically needed funds in our health centers and in our communities.

THE COMMUNITY CLINIC ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY (CCALAC) is the largest regional association of community clinics and health centers in California. Founded in 1994, CCALAC has 63 members that operate over 350 clinic sites throughout LA County. CCALAC is dedicated to serving and representing the interests of its member clinics as providers of quality health care, including medical, dental and pharmacy services. For more information about CCALAC, visit www.ccalac.org or call (213) 201-6500.

Contact:
Elaiza Torralba, Communications Specialist, (213) 201-6529
Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County
700 S. Flower Street, Suite 3150, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Statement: Red Alert Downgraded – Threat Remains High

Posted: February 9, 2018

LOS ANGELES – February 9, 2018 – This morning Congress passed a continuing resolution through March 23, which includes two years of funding for community health centers and other important health programs. While the #RedAlert4CHCs crisis has been averted, the threat level for our communities remains high. We are bracing for the expiration of the Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals (DACA) Program as well as release of the Administration’s rules that would make it harder for legal immigrants to get permanent residency if they or their American-born children use safety net services. CCALAC thanks our Members of Congress for supporting health centers and standing up for our communities.

THE COMMUNITY CLINIC ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY (CCALAC) is the largest regional association of community clinics and health centers in California. Founded in 1994, CCALAC has 63 members that operate over 350 clinic sites throughout LA County. CCALAC is dedicated to serving and representing the interests of its member clinics as providers of quality health care, including medical, dental and pharmacy services. For more information about CCALAC, visit www.ccalac.org or call (213) 201-6500.

Contact:
Elaiza Torralba, Communications Specialist, (213) 201-6529
Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County
700 S. Flower Street, Suite 3150, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Speakers Outline Dire Consequence of Federal Inaction on Health Center Funding, Highlight Impacts on Key Health Care Programs

Posted: January 24, 2018

Remarks from LA Area Health Leaders Press Call

***A recording of today’s discussion is available here***

Los Angeles, CA – The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC), The Children’s Partnership (TCP), and the Northeast Valley Health Corporation (NEVHC) held a press briefing today outlining the impact of Congressional inaction on funding for community health centers, and other critical “health care extenders” that comprise the health care safety net.

According to Louise McCarthy, President and CEO of CCALAC, “Congress has funded healthcare for children, but hasn’t funded the systems that serve them. With the passage of a continuing resolution, Congress now only has weeks to act before community health centers run out of funds. That, along with their inaction on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is going to undermine the stability of our communities. Health centers are hanging in the balance – they’re doing the best they can to plan for the future, but it’s very uncertain. At the same time, health centers are also stepping up, advocating and reaching out to their communities, to their Members of Congress, and beseeching them to fix this funding cliff.”

Mayra Alvarez, President of TCP, said “Our work to eliminate health disparities and ensure health equity for children is fueled by the success of programs like CHIP and its combined impact with other programs – like health centers – to help families raise their children and to ultimately give every child a fair shot at success. Families in California do not have the luxury to worry about issues one at a time – whether that is CHIP coverage, passage of the Dream Act, wondering if their health center will remain open, or if their home visiting program will be available.”

Vilma Champion, Director of Managed Care at NEVHC, said “Community health centers emphasize comprehensive primary and preventive care, oftentimes becoming the gateway to diagnosing and treating public health issues. Our presence in the community not only benefits residents who need our services but also relieves the strain on emergency rooms at local hospitals.  NEVHC’s federal HRSA grant makes up 13% of its operating budget. Without this funding we have no choice but to cut back on staff, patients and services.  More specifically, a lapse in funding would impact 10,000 patients, over 40,000 patient visits, and the salaries of 125 NEVHC staff members. Although we are happy that CHIP funding has been authorized, our CHIP patients would lose access to care if our doors at NEVHC are closed.”

 

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About CCALAC

The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) is the largest regional association of community clinics and health centers in California. Founded in 1994, CCALAC has 63 members that operate over 350 clinic sites, serving 1.6 million County residents. CCALAC is dedicated to serving and representing the interests of its member clinics as providers of quality health care, including medical, dental and pharmacy services.

About TCP

The Children’s Partnership (TCP) is a California–based national children’s advocacy organization committed to improving the lives of underserved children where they live, learn, and play with breakthrough solutions at the intersection of research, policy, and community engagement. Since 1993, TCP has been a leading voice for children and a critical resource for communities across California and the nation, working every day to champion policies that provide all children with the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.

About NEVHC

Northeast Valley Health Corporation (NEVHC) was incorporated in 1971 by a group of San Fernando Valley civic leaders who envisioned establishing a healthcare system that catered to the medical needs of the local community. They opened San Fernando Health Center in 1973 and celebrated its dedication with the late U.S. Senator Ted. Kennedy. Today, NEVHC has grown to 14 health centers in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys and continue to serve the uninsured and the medically underserved patients with limited financial resources. Nearly 70,000 patients receive medical, dental and behavioral health care at our health centers every year. NEVHC, one of the nation’s largest community health centers, is a nonprofit Joint Commission accredited Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).

Statement: Los Angeles Bracing for Crisis as Shutdown Looms

Posted: January 19, 2018

LOS ANGELES – January 19, 2018 – With the shutdown of the federal government on the horizon, communities across Los Angeles are bracing for crisis. The failure to fund the government, along with critical health programs, comes at a very high price.

In Los Angeles, 1.6 million residents rely on community health centers for their care. These health centers will lose 70% of their federal funding on April 1st. Along with the loss of the Children’s Health Insurance Program and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), this undermines the stability of our communities. CCALAC urges Congress to come to an agreement that protects our communities.

THE COMMUNITY CLINIC ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY (CCALAC) is the largest regional association of community clinics and health centers in California. Founded in 1994, CCALAC has 63 members that operate over 350 clinic sites throughout LA County. CCALAC is dedicated to serving and representing the interests of its member clinics as providers of quality health care, including medical, dental and pharmacy services. For more information about CCALAC, visit www.ccalac.org or call (213) 201-6500.

Contact:
Elaiza Torralba, Communications Specialist, (213) 201-6529
Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County
700 S. Flower Street, Suite 3150, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Statement: New HHS Division Will Have Harmful Effects on Access to Care

Posted: January 19, 2018

LOS ANGELES – January 19, 2018 – CCALAC represents community clinics and health centers, institutions that pride themselves on providing health care to all. We are deeply concerned about the Trump Administration’s announcement this week regarding the establishment of a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This new division appears poised to allow health care workers to refuse to perform, accommodate, or assist with provision of services on religious or moral grounds. It is critical that this new HHS division not take any actions that would permit unlawful discrimination or deny access to appropriate health care services based on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or other personal characteristics.

THE COMMUNITY CLINIC ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY (CCALAC) is the largest regional association of community clinics and health centers in California. Founded in 1994, CCALAC has 63 members that operate over 350 clinic sites throughout LA County. CCALAC is dedicated to serving and representing the interests of its member clinics as providers of quality health care, including medical, dental and pharmacy services. For more information about CCALAC, visit www.ccalac.org or call (213) 201-6500.
Contact:

Elaiza Torralba, Communications Specialist, (213) 201-6529
Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County
700 S. Flower Street, Suite 3150, Los Angeles, CA 90017

Clinic Association Names Courtney Powers as Director of Government and External Affairs

Posted: January 4, 2018

LOS ANGELES – January 5, 2018– The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) has named Courtney Powers as the organization’s new Director of Government and External Affairs, effective January 8th. In this role, Ms. Powers will drive the development, implementation and evaluation of the Association’s government and public relations activities.

“With both threat and opportunity looming at the Federal, State and local levels, CCALAC and LA’s community clinics and health centers are at a pivotal moment in our development,” said Louise McCarthy, CCALAC’s President & CEO. “Courtney Powers brings an exceptional level of experience and expertise to guide our government and external affairs in this critical time.”

Prior to joining CCALAC, Ms. Powers served as Vice President and General Counsel to GRACE (Gather Respect Advocate Change Engage) since 2013. In this role, she advanced the organization’s agenda to reduce child poverty through legislative initiatives and secured federal and local funds to support programs and services. Ms. Powers was also the Vice President of Public Policy and the Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs at the Daughters of Charity Health System, and has served as an adjunct professor at UCLA School of Law, Occidental College, the Los Angeles Community College District and UCLA Extension.

Ms. Powers holds a Juris Doctorate from the UCLA School of Law and earned her Bachelor’s degree in political science from U.C. Berkeley, Phi Beta Kappa. She is the current President of the UCLA School of Law Alumni Association.

 

THE COMMUNITY CLINIC ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY (CCALAC) is the largest regional association of community clinics and health centers in California. Founded in 1994, CCALAC has 63 members that operate over 350 clinic sites that serve 1.56 million County residents. CCALAC is dedicated to serving and representing the interests of its member clinics as providers of quality health care, including medical, dental and pharmacy services. For more information about CCALAC, visit www.ccalac.org or call (213) 201-6500.

Contact: Elaiza Torralba, Communications Specialist, (213) 201-6529
Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County
700 S. Flower Street, Suite 3150, Los Angeles, CA 90017

STATEMENT: CCALAC Says Tax Bill will have Profound Effect on Health Care

Posted: December 18, 2017

LOS ANGELES – December 18, 2017 – Today, Louise McCarthy, President and CEO of the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) released the following statement on the potential effects of the tax bill on healthcare access.

“Caught between a rock and a hard place, this week California Republicans will vote for a tax bill that will have detrimental effects on Californians, in particular our working poor and middle class,” McCarthy said.

The House is anticipated to vote tomorrow on the tax legislation. If it passes, the Senate will vote on Wednesday. The House and Senate have passed different versions of a tax reform bill, and have just released the final text.

Continue reading

STATEMENT: CCALAC Urges Congress to Act Now to Stabilize our Health Care System

Posted: October 13, 2017

Members of Congress Must Pass Legislation to Protect Our Health Care

LOS ANGELES – October 13, 2017 – Today, Louise McCarthy, President and CEO of the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) released the following statement urging members of Congress to pass legislation that would protect our health care, in response to the announcement that the Trump Administration will end cost-sharing reduction subsidies – a blow to insurers selling in the marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act and impacting many low-income patients.

“Our future already hangs in the balance, with funding for key safety net programs stalled in Congress,” McCarthy said. Continue reading

Los Angeles Community Health Centers Urge Congress To Secure Health Center Funding

Posted: September 20, 2017

Health Centers Face a 70 Percent Decrease in Funding by September 30th

September 19, 2017 – Los Angeles – Right now, health centers throughout Los Angeles County are threatened with losing 70 percent of their federal funding, which will impact how people access care. The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) and its members are urging Congress to take action to secure this funding for community health centers.

“Congress must act now to protect the key programs that make health centers and the services they provide possible,” said Louise McCarthy, president and CEO, Community Clinic Association of LA County, “Over the past five years health centers have expanded access and transformed care for their communities. They’ve created jobs and made major investments into their local economies. This funding ensures the ongoing viability of our program and the progress we’ve made.” Continue reading

STATEMENT: CCALAC Says DACA Program Integral to American Ideals

Posted: September 8, 2017

Members of Congress Must Pass Legislation to Protect These Youth

LOS ANGELES – September 6, 2017 –  Today Louise McCarthy, President and CEO of the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) released the following statement urging members of Congress to pass legislation that would make the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrival (DACA) Program permanent.

“We cannot take away the American dream for so many hard working youth, especially those whose passion is serving and strengthening their communities,” McCarthy said. Continue reading

STATEMENT: CCALAC Urges Congress to Prevent Primary Care Funding Cliff

Posted: September 6, 2017

Community Clinics and Health Centers Seek Extended Funding to Provide Care

LOS ANGELES – September 2017– Today Louise McCarthy, President and CEO of the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) released the following statement urging members of Congress to extend funding for critical health care programs for five more years, at minimum.

“Non-profit community health centers are a trusted source of high-quality, comprehensive care for the nation’s most underserved communities,” McCarthy said. “Without action by Congress to secure funding for the health center program alone, health centers will see a 70 percent decrease in the funding that we receive. Loss of funding means loss of access to care. Continue reading

STATEMENT: CCALAC Calls Senate Decision to Not Repeal ACA ‘A Chance to Strengthen Health Care’

Posted: July 28, 2017

This is An Opportunity to Work in Bipartisan Manner to Improve Access

LOS ANGELES – July 28, 2017– Today Louise McCarthy, President and CEO of the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) released the following statement after the Senate voted against passage of its plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“Whether it was called the American Health Care Act, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, or the Health Care Freedom Act these bills were bad policy. The debates on Main Street and in the halls of Congress have proven that we need to improve our health care system, not destroy it like these bills would have done. We now have a chance to strengthen health care in America,” McCarthy said. “During the past few months, we have heard the voices of people and families who have received care for the first time. We have seen how far we have come since the ACA was signed. Families finally have a sense of security. People are getting jobs in health care. Our economy is growing.
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STATEMENT: CCALAC Calls Senate Bill to Repeal ACA “A Step Back for All Americans”

Posted: June 22, 2017

The Fight to Save America’s Health Doesn’t End Today

LOS ANGELES – June 22, 2017– Today Louise McCarthy, President and CEO of the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) released the following statement after the United States Senate presented its plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“This bill puts at risk current laws that allow millions of Angelenos and other Americans to have consistent access to health care; some for the first time in their lives. To rip that away from them is cruel and a major step back for all Americans. This bill creates damaging cuts in LA County’s public health and places the entire safety net in a precarious position.
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CCALAC Calls House Passage of American Health Care Act ‘Tragedy for Americans’

Posted: May 4, 2017

Fight Continues as Bill Moves to the Senate for Consideration

LOS ANGELES – May 4, 2017– Today the United States House of Representatives moved forward with its plan to dismantle major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) is troubled by the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and its devastating potential on California’s most vulnerable communities. CCALAC is encouraging its member clinics, the public and community leaders to continue their advocacy to keep the AHCA from moving forward.

“The AHCA would disrupt the ability of all Americans to continue to access health care; including the elderly, young adults, veterans, those struggling with addiction, those with pre-existing conditions and many, many more hard working Americans and their families.” Louise McCarthy, President and CEO of CCALAC, said. “The fight isn’t over to save our health care. We now have to make our message heard. Patients and providers alike need to get loud. The Senate needs to know that this bill would have a devastating impact on our communities and the safety net that serves them.”
Continue reading

Southern California Health Centers Focus on ‘Linking Communities to Quality Care’

Posted: March 3, 2017

Amid Uncertainty, Nonprofit Providers Double Down on Care Transformation and Improving Quality

HUNGTINGTON BEACH, CALI. – March, 3, 2017 – As nonprofit community clinics and health centers face an uncertain future, Southern California providers gathered for a day of learning and best practice sharing at the 16th Annual Health Care Symposium. The event featured sessions on the pressing issues that clinics and their patients face, including health policy in the current political environment, impending payment reforms, social determinants of health, effective care teams, addressing the opioid epidemic and succession planning. Continue reading

CCALAC Awarded Federal Funding to Support Health Center Quality

Posted: July 26, 2016

Three-year program will provide technology support to 40 LA health

LOS ANGELES – July 26, 2016 – The US Department of Health and Human Services’ Health and Human Resources Administration (HRSA) announced that the Community Clinic Association of Los Angele County (CCALAC) is the recipient of a multi-year Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN) award. CCALAC will receive $1.25 million a year under the three year program, making it one of the largest programs in the nation. Continue reading

Nina Vaccaro to Join CCALAC as New COO

Posted: July 15, 2016

Vaccaro brings 18 years of health care experience in Southern California

The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC), is pleased to announce that Nina Vaccaro has been selected as its new chief operating officer, effective August 1st. Ms. Vaccaro brings more than 18 years of nonprofit health care experience to the position. Continue reading

HCCN Technical Assistance Services Request for Proposals

Posted: January 11, 2016

Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County
Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN)
Technical Assistance Services Request for Proposals

Overview:

The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) is currently soliciting proposals from organizations to provide comprehensive technical assistance services to its Members in accordance to the Work Plan of the Los Angeles Regional Health Center Controlled Network (LAR HCCN). CCALAC intends to apply for the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) HCCN competitive grant opportunity HRSA-16-010, and the technical assistance services will be an integral part of its grant proposal. Continue reading

HRSA Awards $21.7 Million in Grants to LA County Clinics for Expansion of Services and Improvement to Infrastructure

Posted: September 15, 2015

41 Clinics Receive Funds to Increase Health Care Access

LOS ANGELES –- September 15, 2015 – Today the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced $500 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support 1,184 clinics across the country. HRSA awarded $350 million to 1,184 clinics nationwide to expand services and $150 million for infrastructure improvements to 160 clinics nationally. In LA County, 41 clinics received a total of $12.7 million in Expanded Services Awards and, of those, 11 clinics received $8.9 million in Health Infrastructure Investment Awards.
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HRSA Invests Funding to Expand Quality Improvement in LA County

Posted: August 25, 2015

38 LA Health Centers Receive Awards for Quality, Access and Value

LOS ANGELES – August 25, 2015 – Today the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced $63.3 million in grants to support 1,153 health center sites across the United States. Health centers will use these funds to expand current quality improvement systems and infrastructure, and improve primary care service delivery in the communities they serve. In California, 135 health centers received $8.5 million in awards, with 38 LA-based organizations receiving more than $2.2 million.

“This funding gives a much-needed boost to community health centers as they advance the evolution of health care in LA County,” Community Clinic Association of LA County (CCALAC) President and CEO Louise McCarthy said in response to the news. “Since the start of the health center movement 50 years ago, health centers have worked to continuously improve the quality of care they provide. Today’s announcement is a further investment in this model system of high quality care.” Continue reading

Federal Government Invests $8.1 Million in LA County Health Care

Posted: August 11, 2015

17 LA Health Centers Receive New Access Point Funds

LOS ANGELES – August 11, 2015 – Today the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced $169 million in grants to support 266 new health center sites across the United States. The funds will assist these health centers in serving an additional 1.2 million patients nationwide. In California, 48 health centers received $29.5 million in awards, with 17 LA-based organizations receiving more than $8.6 million. Earlier this year, HRSA awarded $7.1 million in funding to 12 LA clinics and health centers.
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LA Health Centers Receive Funds to Increase Health Care Access

Posted: May 5, 2015

Twelve LA Health Centers Receive More than $7.1 million

LOS ANGELES –- May 5, 2015 – Today the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced $101 million in grants to support 164 new health center sites nationwide. The funds will assist these health centers in serving an additional 650,000 patients. In California, 23 health centers received $14.7 million in awards, with 12 LA-based organizations receiving more than $7.1 million, nearly half of California’s funding received in the state.
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14th Annual Health Care Symposium

Posted: February 27, 2015

Costa Mesa, CA – March 6, 2015 – The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County, The Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers and the Council of Community Clinics in San Diego, Imperial and Riverside Counties will be convening more than 400 health care professionals at the 2015 Annual Health Care Symposium in Costa Mesa, Cali., today.

This year’s conference theme is Integrating Systems, Transforming Care, Changing Lives and will feature breakout sessions throughout the day ranging in topics from improving cross systems collaborations, using data for quality improvement, conflict resolution, federal pharmaceutical program auditing, and much more. The Annual Health Care Symposium provides a forum to network and share valuable knowledge about the provision of quality health care. Each year presenters and attendees gather for a full day of sessions focused on challenges and innovations experienced by service providers and patients today. The conference offers educational opportunities for service providers, community clinic staff, community and state leaders, and other health care stakeholders. This years conference will also feature keynote speaker Melissa Stafford Jones, Regional Director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Region IX.

The 14th Annual Symposium will be held at the Hilton Costa Mesa/Orange County in Costa Mesa, Cali. The agenda is available at ccalac.org/events/symposium.

About the Southern California Consortia
The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County, The Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers, and Council of Community Clinics in San Diego, Imperial and Riverside Counties are 501(c)(3) organizations representing community clinics and health centers in Southern California. They represent a combined total of 85 member clinics, which operate over 290 sites throughout the Southern California region, spanning from Lancaster to San Ysidro on the US/ Mexico border. These clinics provide vital health care services to more than 1.75 million underserved patients per year.

Mourning the Loss of Risë Phillips

Posted: February 11, 2015

Risë K. Phillips

It is with the heaviest of hearts that the Board and Leadership of T.H.E. (To Help Everyone) Health and Wellness Centers shares with our community of patients, colleagues and supporters the untimely passing of our visionary President and Chief Executive Officer Ms. Risë K. Phillips. Risë transitioned from this life on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at her home in Los Angeles, CA.

Ms. Phillips joined T.H.E. in 2009, after having held key executive management positions in both public and private health care sectors. At the beginning of her career, Phillips supported the two largest lines of business at Blue Cross of California. Her work within the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services provided the statistical justification necessary to support housing and prevention interventions in the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. While heading the business development and public policy functions at the California Family Health Council, Ms. Phillips worked on major pieces of legislation in the U.S. Congress and at the California State Capital designed to safeguard and bring additional funding in support of women’s healthcare and reproductive rights. She served as Project Director for a biomedical support group actively engaged in worldwide HIV clinical trials research working with 255 researchers located in Africa, Thailand, India, Brazil, and multiple sites throughout the United States.

Risë K. Phillips earned a Masters degree in Public Health with a specialty in Epidemiology and Biostatistics and a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Los Angeles, John Anderson School of Management.

Soon after joining T.H.E. as the President and CEO, Ms. Phillips lead a remarkable turnaround of the organization, whose doors were on the verge of closing, growing T.H.E. from one site to six (including two dental sites) and 18,000 patients in just a few years’ time.
Ms. Phillips was recently honored during a ribbon cutting celebration for T.H.E.’s sixth site, T.H.E. La Brea, where she received recognitions from the Offices of the Governor, the Los Angeles Mayor, Senator Diane Feinstein, as well as Senator Holly Mitchell, Congresswoman Karen Bass, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, and Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas.
Deeply committed to T.H.E.’s mission of bringing affordable, caring and culturally sensitive health care to underserved and under-resourced communities, Ms. Phillips was known for saying, “A person’s zip code should never determine their access to quality health care.”

Her generosity of spirit as well as her care and concern for her staff and patients will be greatly missed and shall remain an inspiration for T.H.E.’s continued work in Los Angeles.

If you would like to express your sentiments about Risë’s passing, please email ceo@tohelpeveryone.org.

Community HealthCorps team, Students Spruce Up Roosevelt High School as Part of MLK Day Tradition

Posted: January 20, 2015

From ABC7 Los Angeles Click here to watch video

Dozens of students, along with local volunteers, turned out to spruce up Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights as part of a longstanding Martin Luther King, Jr. Day tradition.

Students were joined by volunteers from AltaMed Health Services and the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County. The group spent Monday morning adding a fresh coat of paint on stairs and benches to help beautify the school.

“I strongly believe in higher education so whatever inspires any students to keep going forward then that’s why I’m here to help,” volunteer Alejandra Rodriguez said.

For the 4th year, the high school is celebrating the legacy of King with a day of service. The students painted inspirational messages on the walls, which the students say leaves a powerful message.

The volunteers also helped maintain the campus garden, which has taught the students a lot about sustainable agriculture.

“Growing up, I was always told get out there and get involved in the community because that’s where you grew up in, you know, that’s your heart,” said Jasmine Ragland, a volunteer from the community clinic.

CCALAC Receives S. Mark Taper Foundation Grant

Posted: January 9, 2015

LOS ANGELES – January 9, 2015 – The S. Mark Taper Foundation has awarded a $75,000 one-year grant to the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) in core operating support. These funds will support the administrative and general operating costs of the Association.

“We are grateful to the S. Mark Taper Foundation for this generous award,” CCALAC President and CEO Louise McCarthy said. “This grant will ensure that CCALAC is able to provide continued support for our Member Clinics and Health Centers as we move into another dynamic year of ensure that more and more of LA County’s vulnerable populations are able to access quality, comprehensive health care.”

The S. Mark Taper Foundation, founded in 1989, is a private family foundation dedicated to enhancing the quality of people’s lives by supporting nonprofit organizations and their work in our communities.

THE COMMUNITY CLINIC ASSOCIATION OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY (CCALAC) is the largest regional association of nonprofit community and free clinics in California. Founded in 1994, CCALAC has 54 members that operate more than 200 clinics throughout the County. These clinics serve nearly one million patients per year, the majority of whom are uninsured or underinsured. CCALAC is dedicated to serving and representing the interests of its member clinics as providers of quality health care, including medical, dental and pharmacy services. For more information about CCALAC, visit www.ccalac.org or call (213) 201-6500.

Clinics Laud New LA County Health Care Access Program

Posted: September 23, 2014

LOS ANGELES (September 23, 2014) –The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today approved the creation of the My Health LA (MHLA) program, which will strengthen primary care access, promote coordination and improve health outcomes for LA County’s remaining uninsured. The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC) lauded the action, commending the Board and the County.

“LA’s health centers are deeply committed to this program, their ongoing partnership with LA County, and most importantly, the patients they serve,” said CCALAC President and CEO Louise McCarthy. “Our joint efforts to build and implement My Health LA will create a strong foundation for the continued development of a world-class system of care for all residents of LA County.”

Clinic leaders voiced their support for the program and the ongoing partnership. “We are committed to the success of My Health LA,” said Dr. Elisa Nicholas, CCALAC Board Chair and President of The Children’s Clinic “Serving Children and Their Families” in Long Beach,. “The patients are at the center of all that we do. Our approach to the My Health LA program is framed by our standing commitment to provide the best care for our patients.”

The MHLA program has evolved from a decades-long partnership between LA County and local community clinics and health centers. The program includes primary care services at clinics, such health screenings, physicals, chronic disease management, and prescription medications. Specialty care and more acute services will be provided by LA County’s Department of Health Services. The program, which begins October 1, is expected to provide access to 146,000 uninsured LA County residents.

LA Clinics Celebrate Two Decades of Collective Advocacy

Posted: June 4, 2014

LOS ANGELES (June 4, 2014) – LA’s nonprofit Community Clinics and Health Centers begin a series of events today in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Community Clinic Association of LA County (CCALAC). The focus of the events highlight CCALAC’s two decades of collective advocacy for access to quality, comprehensive health care services for the underserved residents of LA County.

The celebration begins at 9:30 am with a presentation by the LA County Board of Supervisors, followed by a celebration at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. The event will feature guest speaker Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA 40th District) and remarks from various clinic leaders.

“Over the past 20 years community clinics and health centers have been at the forefront of massive transformations in LA’s health care landscape. LA’s clinics have demonstrated effective advocacy and collaboration toward a common vision of comprehensive, quality health care for all.” McCarthy said. “In the throes of health reform, today’s celebration comes at a perfect time for us to reflect on how far we have all come in achieving our shared vision.”

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