Our community--like many others--has suffered from the economic downturn over the past few years. In 2010, a Santa Clara County Health Profile Report showed the number of uninsured adults jumped 18 percent in 2009, and that nearly half the households in the county do not earn enough to be financially self-sufficient. Ingrid is one example. She needed her school vaccinations, but her parents had no insurance to pay for them. The RotaCare Clinic gave Ingrid her physical, immunizations, and audiology testing to address a hearing deficit at no cost to her parents. Then there’s 68-year-old Adele, who had been hospitalized 22 times in four years. A caseworker through Community Services Agency (CSA) helped Adele monitor her health and connected her with other community resources like RoadRunners and Meals on Wheels, also at no cost to her.
The community has contributed to these efforts to make life better for those like Ingrid and Adele. The funds that support the organizations that helped them were raised through property taxes collected by the El Camino Hospital District and earmarked specifically for the Community Benefits Program. The District takes our stewardship of that money seriously. For nearly 50 years, our mission at the El Camino Hospital District has been to ensure that community organizations are able to carry out their important and lifesaving work. Over the past few years, more than 30 community organizations have received nearly $20 million in District support, driven by four simple principles: improving access to health care, ensuring the health of the community, advancing medical and health knowledge, and relieving the burden on government and other community efforts.
We have developed long-term, collaborative relationships that take on the important health issues within our community today, to serve its ever-changing needs tomorrow. In the near future, we will work closely with our partners to address issues like the obesity epidemic, access to healthy food, safe routes to school programs, tobacco cessation, and falls prevention, which have the potential to positively impact tens of thousands of community members.
Our ongoing commitment to improving the health of our community cannot happen without the help of our community members. To learn more about the organizations the El Camino Hospital District supports, please visit www.elcaminohospitaldistrict.org/CommunityBenefit.