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 -inSonoma West Times & News byZoe 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.
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 -inVator TV byBambi 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.”
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 -inCommonwealth Fund bySarah 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 -inPress Democrat byGuy 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 09, 2020 -inPress Democrat byMary Callahan
A small fire last week at the Forestville Wellness Center, which provides health services to 3,500 West County Health Centers patients, has forced its closure for an extended period, officials for the nonprofit said.
The usual array of individual treatments and group health programs offered at the Front Street site will still be available during the closure at the Gravenstein Community Health Center in Sebastopol, officials said.
“We’ll be moving all of our services from the Forestville Wellness Center to our Sebastopol location,” said Mary Szecsey, chief executive officer of the west Sonoma County health care provider. “There’s not going to be any change in the services while we make those repairs.”
West County Health Centers has appointed Ellen Bauer as chief administrative officer, effective Feb. 10. Bauer joins the community health system after a 16-year-long career with the county of Sonoma, where she most recently served as director of public health, managing a staff of over 200, the health organization announced Jan. 3.