In the wake of a global pandemic, we chose to be in the moment with people who were counting on us for our expertise. And moment by moment, over months and seasons, this is how we took care of our community.
Partnering with the Community
As the COVID-19 pandemic amplified public health vulnerabilities, SVMHS partnered with the community to expand the Taylor Farms Family Health & Wellness Center in Gonzales to help address disparities in access to quality healthcare. By tripling its size, the center now provides residents with new access to critical specialty care. Support from Taylor Farms, the Central California Alliance for Health, the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Mike and Mary Orradre, and contributions from both longstanding and new donors to Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation made it all possible.
Protecting the Community
As the pandemic wore on, it coincided with flu season, putting people at graver risk for life-threatening complications. In partnership with the Monterey County Health Department, SVMHS provided free community clinics to increase access to the flu vaccine. More than 1,000 people were vaccinated during the free clinics, helping to reduce the severity of respiratory conditions brought on by the flu. According to research, the vaccine also helps to significantly reduce a COVID-19 patient’s risk of ending up in an intensive care unit.
To watch a recap of our 2020 flu clinics by Pete Delgado, click here.
Serving the Community
Adherence to social distancing became a vital way to combat the spread of COVID-19. But social distancing can interfere with providing patient care. Salinas Valley Medical Clinic quickly pivoted to offer telemedicine as a way to safely meet patient needs and allow more people to seek care safely during the pandemic. In 2020, 115 providers had the ability to schedule telemedicine visits. From June through December, 674 new patients scheduled telemedicine visits, while more than 5,000 established patients did the same.
To listen to an SVMHS Ask The Experts podcast with Peter Oppenheim, MD, and hear more on this topic, click here.
Meeting the Needs of the Community
Even before COVID-19 began affecting our communities, getting adequate healthcare was difficult for those who lived in rural areas or lacked convenient transportation. The pandemic could have made it even more difficult. But the SVMHS Mobile Health Clinic went on the road to bring no-cost services to underserved communities. From health screenings and immunizations to care coordination, the clinic-on-wheels was a welcome sight in neighborhoods where people often have difficulty accessing healthcare because of cost, distance or problems making appointments.