Health Net Foundation, Inc., the charitable foundation of Health Net, Inc., is providing grants of $100,000 each to JWCH Institute, Inc. and OPCC to assist in establishing pilot programs aimed at providing inpatient and outpatient care and temporary housing to Los Angeles County homeless patients.
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Carol Kim, Health Net's director of Public Affairs (left), presents $100,000 check to the staff of JWCH Institute to help house homeless patients. From the left are: Dr. Paul Gregerson, chief medical officer; Chris Mack, outreach worker; Linda Evans, case manager; Shawn Baker, case manager; Al Ballesteros, CEO; and Cheryl Morris, case manager. (Photo: Business Wire)
“Statistics show that nearly one-third of Los Angeles County’s homeless live with mental illness, one quarter suffer from substance abuse and one-fifth have a physical disability,” said Patricia Clarey, president of Health Net Foundation. “It’s important that groups and organizations come together to address the medical and social issues surrounding homelessness, and we hope to support an approach that looks at them from several angles, including housing and access to health care.”
JWCH Institute, Inc.
JWCH is a federally qualified health center providing medical, specialty, behavioral, HIV/AIDS health care services to approximately 30,000 homeless patients in Los Angeles County annually.
With its grant, JWCH will temporarily house homeless patients while their medical and social service needs are being assessed. JWCH case managers then will work to connect the patients to long-term housing and needed medical care.
“Studies have consistently shown that housing is the anchor for effectively delivering health care to the homeless population,” said Al Ballesteros, chief executive officer of JWCH. “If we can address the very basic need for housing, then we can begin addressing the medical and social service needs of the homeless population.”
Non-profit social services agency OPCC provides housing and comprehensive, fully integrated medical, mental health and substance abuse treatment for the homeless in Santa Monica and the Westside of Los Angeles County.
Under its grant, OPCC will assign a staffer to the Providence Saint John’s Medical Center emergency department to assist in moving homeless patients into housing and connect them to needed outpatient medical services, either at Venice Family Clinic or with local physicians.
“Many homeless people are frequent utilizers of the emergency department, contributing to a costly and repetitive cycle of services on an already overburdened system,” said John Maceri, executive director of OPCC. “Through this pilot, we hope to demonstrate that a modest investment in a care coordinator can help stabilize these individuals’ health, improve their quality of life and help save avoidable costs to the entire system.”
About Health Net
Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT) is a publicly traded managed care organization that delivers managed health care services through health plans and government-sponsored managed care plans. Its mission is to help people be healthy, secure and comfortable. Health Net provides and administers health benefits to approximately 6.1 million individuals across the country through group, individual, Medicare (including the Medicare prescription drug benefit commonly referred to as “Part D”), Medicaid and dual eligible programs, as well as programs with the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Health Net also offers behavioral health, substance abuse and employee assistance programs, and managed health care products related to prescription drugs.
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