Stepping outside the 4 walls of traditional medicine
CHC provides essential healthcare services to the working poor, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, individuals and families experiencing homelessness, school-based populations, and the uninsured. CHC understands the need to be mobile to reach vulnerable and underserved special populations while at the same time removing barriers to care. In its commitment to delivering quality healthcare to all residents, CHC created the Community Health Outreach Program, which includes a fleet of state-of-the-art mobile medical and mobile dental units. Patients are cared for by a diverse team of highly experienced healthcare professionals who are culturally and linguistically sensitive to their health and social needs.
Avoiding a ‘food supply chain’ catastrophe
Agriculture is the largest industry in Northern Santa Barbara County, with its workforce quite literally on the ground. The COVID-19 pandemic could have sparked a major disruption of this vital supply chain, undoubtedly a tragic crisis – not only for Santa Barbara County but the entire world. Close to 80,000 acres of fruits and vegetables are grown and harvested in Santa Barbara County and exported to over 34 countries.
In the early days of the pandemic, CHC mobilized its Education and Outreach teams to visit migrant and public housing and the agricultural fields to provide in-person safety education to farmworkers about COVID-19. This early intervention protected our larger community population and likely avoided a serious disruption of the local food supply chain.
CHC partnered with agricultural support organizations, including the Santa Barbara Vintners Association, Grower-Shipper Association of Santa Barbara County, farm labor contractors, and local growers to ensure COVID-19 education, free “COVID Care Kits,” PPE, and access to medical treatment were readily available.
Once vaccines became available, CHC immediately joined forces with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department to vaccinate employees in essential roles, including the vast majority of frontline agricultural workers. Today, as a safety-net healthcare provider, CHC vigilantly works hand-in-glove with county and community partners to ensure there is access to COVID-19 education, testing, and adequate vaccines for all agricultural workers on the Central Coast.
CHC is proud to be a principal resource for the vaccination efforts county-wide. A significant portion of the agricultural worker population received their COVID-19 vaccinations by CHC staff in early 2021, allowing these dedicated, tireless frontline workers to keep fresh food flowing from their fields to our tables worldwide.