August 28, 2020 - in The Center for Public Integrity by Megan Cattel
“For a lot of our Latino immigrant population, there are a lot of issues that come up surrounding wildfires and disasters,” said Emilio Licea, a psychologist at West County Health Centers in Sonoma County. “So even though there might be resources, they’re often reluctant to engage because they don’t fully trust the system.”…….
Garcia is originally from Mexico. She has lived in Santa Rosa for 20 years, working a variety of jobs — her latest was to harvest grapes. She’s undocumented and doesn’t have health insurance. Traditional therapy in a hospital or doctor’s office is out of the question.
Instead, she and others in the community rely on local nonprofit organizations like Humanidad and West County Health Centers. Licea, who is Latino himself, said these organizations consistently work to be a part of local communities and build trust. When mental-health providers attend local churches, participate in holiday events and call people directly to offer services, that can go a long way, Licea said.
West County Health Centers is offering coronavirus testing to current patients who have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Screening appointments before testing can be scheduled by calling the health center at 707-824-3391. For more information, visit wchealth.org.
July 16, 2020 - in Sonoma West Times & News by Zoe Strickland
“This is a big deal. If you look at how we cope with our own trauma and other things, we oftentimes retreat and use chemicals as a way to self-manage,” said Dr. Jason Cunningham, CEO of West County Health Centers. “We deal mostly with diseases that start early on — COPD, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, amputations, other things, cancer — and are directly related to smoking.”
Cunningham said that what they’re seeing is that many young people don’t associate vaping with tobacco use.
July 10, 2020 - in Press Democrat by Bill Swindell
West County Health Centers got a $3 million loan that will be turned into a grant to help retain 200 jobs for the community health clinic, said Jason Cunningham, chief executive officer.
That money helped relieve some financial pressure for the clinic that sees about 15,000 patients annually. Because of COVID-19, about 80% of its patient visits are now on video or by phone, Cunningham said.
“What the PPP did for us is gain some strategic thinking, which made all the difference. We were able to say, ’How do we send all of our staff home? How do we invest in technology and video,’ which allowed us to quickly see patients,” he said.
June 30, 2020 - in Vator TV by Bambi Francisco Roizen
“The week of March 16, and the following week, we had 30-percent decline in revenue because of a reduction in visits. After that, it was down 10 percent but, ever since, we’ve been over 100 percent, and most recently 115 percent of productivity,” noted Jason Cunningham, CEO of West County Health Centers. “Visits coming in have exceeded what we were seeing prior to COVID-19, which I am so thankful for because otherwise we were going to do layoffs and other things because there was no way we could survive. But that only happened because we were able to pivot quickly on to video and telephone.”
June 25, 2020 - in Press Democrat by Mary Callahan
Now, homeless individuals are among those especially vulnerable to COVID-19 because of underlying health conditions that put them at risk of complications and poor outcomes, said Jason Cunningham, a family physician and chief executive officer for the nonprofit West County Health Centers.
While ongoing coronavirus screening and outreach efforts indicate a high level of awareness and concern in the population, most are not in a position to maintain physical distance or proper hygiene.
An outbreak in the homeless population would likely spread very rapidly within those circles and to the wider community ―a threat that has suddenly become more urgent, given news last week of several cases detected during testing at encampments in Santa Rosa, Cunningham said.
April 29, 2020 - in Commonwealth Fund by Sarah Klein and Martha Hostetter
West County Health Centers in California’s rural Sonoma County has been working to ensure that patients who suspect they have COVID-19 and/or those experiencing respiratory symptoms are sequestered from patients who may need to come to the clinic for others reasons, such as wound care, infections, STD checks, and hormone injections
The federal government has, for the first time, extended telemedicine to all Medicare beneficiaries regardless of their circumstances.
“We are in a unique time in which inexpensive, off-the-shelf video technology allows us to provide meaningful and clinically relevant care to even our most vulnerable populations,” said Dr. Jason Cunningham, CEO of West County Health Centers, which serves 15,000 patients.
“Most importantly, it allows us to provide ongoing care that is safe for our patients and staff in this critical time for our community,” he said.
March 20, 2020 - in Press Democrat by Guy Kovner and Will Schmitt
West County Health Centers also requires patients to be screened by a clinician over the phone and determined to have “symptoms consistent with COVID-19,” said Dr. Rain Moore, chief medical officer.
Tests are being conducted in the parking lots of selected clinics.
Patients may also discuss their condition by arranging a phone appointment with their provider. “More importantly, anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 is being asked to isolate in-home if they are stable,” Moore said
January 17, 2020 - in Press Democrat by Martin Espinoza
There are two reasons why Michael Majeski often smiles as he goes about his daily tasks of filling prescriptions and consulting with patients and doctors.
Majeski, the 34-year-old pharmacist at the independently owned Sebastopol Family Pharmacy, loves his job and helping people. In his business, one cannot exist without the other.
It’s the reason he abandoned working at large pharmacy chains to work for the small Sebastopol drugstore in October 2018. “In the corporate world, you’re pressed on time and efficiency,” Majeski said last week, while preparing a prescription. “In this setting, you can give patients more time.”
That means more time to consult with patients, more time to understand complex drug interactions and more time for professional training in his field.