As a health care organization our hospitals are open 24 hours a day and serve anyone who walks through the door, but we know that’s not enough to promote active, healthy communities. As a partner in building a healthier community, we must also reach into the community to locate the areas of need and provide services and resources to address those needs. Below we highlight some of our partnerships.
Improving access to prenatal care for the body and mind
With more than 5,000 babies born at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento each year, we see firsthand the importance of early prenatal care for both mother and child. That’s why Sutter has partnered with the Center for Community Health and Well-Being, Inc. (CCHWB), a local nonprofit organization that provides prenatal, postpartum and gynecological care to low-income, MediCal-eligible women.
“The Center for Community Health and Well-Being provides a vital service to our community, so that babies have a healthy start and mothers have a place to turn for care and support,” said Holly Harper, community benefits manager for the Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region.
Over the years, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento has provided grants to help CCHWB expand its services to more women. And, in 2012, CCHWB received a Community Investment Award from Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento.
“We recognize the importance of our client’s mental health and offer free counseling services to our patients,” said Wendy J. Petko, CCHWB executive director. “With the recent investment from Sutter, we were able to expand our counseling services and now are able to help almost twice as many new moms and dads develop the skills they need to raise healthy babies.”
CCHWB has two prenatal and gynecological care clinics in Sacramento and a Leadership and Empowerment Institute for at-risk girls and young women.
Watch our community partner video that features CCHWB and Loaves and Fishes.
Emergency department navigators
For the past five years, Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento and local non-profit The Effort have partnered to provide primary care, behavioral health and prevention services to Sacramento’s homeless. With appropriate access to care being at the top of their collective missions, they continue to tackle the growing issue of emergency room use.
“We’ve seen a steady increase in the number of people who are using our emergency rooms for routine medical issues, especially those who are uninsured and don’t have a primary care physician. We knew we needed to find a creative solution and had a perfect partner to make a difference,” said Keri Thomas,
regional director, Community and Government Relations at Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region.
Last year Sutter and The Effort piloted a Navigator Program at both the Sutter General and Sutter Memorial emergency rooms. This year the navigator, a trained social worker, became a permanent position and staffs the emergency room during peak hours seven days a week. When patients are seen in the emergency room without adequate follow-up care, the navigator visits the patient and helps them connect with insurance, doctors, services and even housing.
“Together we provide resources so we can help improve the quality of life of this population,” Jonathan Porteus, chief executive officer of The Effort. “Our goal is that next time they have a health issue, they will have a primary care physician to see. It’s a better experience for the patient and leaves more access in the ERs for true emergencies.