Background: Kern County Public Health Services Department budget cuts, minimized resources, reduced staffing and growing community need for Pertussis vaccinations demanded a new approach to augment existing planned clinics. Combing the need for the county’s largest insurer to increase enrollment to the underserved, Public Health created a unique partnership to provide non-traditional Pertussis clinics in the county’s most needy communities.
Setting: Kern Health Systems, an independent county agency that manages Medi-Cal benefits and health care for poor county residents, shares Kern County Public Health’s concern over providing services to those most in need. Targeting a specific area of Kern County whose demographics and sociographic of residents matched the customer base of agencies, a unique alliance and partnership was developed to financial augment existing Pertussis clinics.
Population: The Kern Health System and Kern County Public Health Services Department targeted a specific zip code of Kern County whose residents have a higher propensity for poor health, highest unemployment and almost non-existent medical services.
Project Description: Kern County Public Health Services Department negotiated a financial agreement for Kern Health Systems to financially support additional clinics in the specific zip code area. Additionally, Kern Health Systems also agreed to provide support for health screenings at each of the five new clinics. The additional Kern Health System’s financial support was used to augment outreach, promotion and education for and at each clinic held at non-traditional site which included swap meets, high school, elementary school and adult schools.
Results/Lessons Learned: The coalition between a county owned insurance provider and the Kern County Public Health Services Department demonstrated the opportunity for creative partnerships, both financially and in resources, which highlights the benefits of reaching out to the segments of the community in most need.