With the implementation of health care reform under way, organizations are helping patients find "medical homes", places of primary care where they can access services that are coordinated amongst various entities.
Individuals from racial and ethnic minority populations who had been unable to access affordable services before health care reform, will be among the groups looking for such "homes."
In attempt to facilitate this search, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled what it called it's "most comprehensive plan" to reduce health disparities between majority and minority populations.
There are five broad goals in the plan:
- Expanding health care coverage and access to care
- Helping people navigate the health care system which includes recruiting minorities for public health and medical careers as well as improving health care interpreting services
- Improve health of minority communities through grants to address heart disease, childhood obesity, asthma, flu, maternal and child health
- Improve data collection and research on racial and ethnic minorities
- Increase transparency and accountability of programs
The Asian Pacific Health Care Venture (APHVC) is one organization that allows the Department of Heath and Human services to implement those goals in the Los Angeles area.
APHVC functions as a site of comprehensive primary care. Comprehensive primary care includes the ability to not only see a doctor, but see specialists, get screenings, join support programs, get medications, and enroll in the appropriate services.
Open 24 hours a week, they managing close to 44,800 visits a year. Over 85% of APHVC patients are monolingual in the language of their country of origin. On any given day, 300 prescriptions are filled by the organization's own dispensary.
"What makes us unique is that we offer translation services in a variety of languages," said Carolyn Barragan, a manager with the APHCV.
Equipped with bi-lingual translators in Spanish, and multiple Asian languages such as Mandarin, Khmer, Vietnamese, Bangladeshi, APHCV has the ability to reach populations with very little access to health care because of language barriers. This ability of the organization takes the burden off American-born children and offers their patients privacy.
APHCV will be one organization tasked to help the most vulnerable populations in the transition to affordable managed care by 2014.
In November 2010, the federal government approved the state of California's bid to "bridge" the transition to health care reform. California received $10 billion in federal funds to investigate the best ways to provide health care. This investigation is expected to mitigate the initial demand on the health system after health care reform becomes more widely available by 2014. Dealing directly with patients, APHCV will be a increasingly important hub for patients in LA to navigate the health care system.
Overview of Asian Pacific Health Care Venture
Demographics: 12,208 low-income patients served with close 44,800 visits in 2010. 71% Asian/Pacific Islander; 19% Latino, 6% White, and 2% African-American servicing the LA County Service Planning Areas 2 (North Hollywood, Van Nuys, Sun Valley), 3 (El Monte, Rosemead), 4 (Downtown LA, Hollywood, Glendale)
A map of the Service Planning Areas is available here.
Address and Contact Information:
Los Feliz Health Center
1530 Hillhurst Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone (323) - 644 - 3880
Fax (323) - 644 - 3892
APHCV - John Marshall High School Health Center
3939 Tracy Street, Bungalow 621
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone (323) - 665 - 1129
Fax (323) - 665 - 1104
APHCV - Belmont Health Services
180 Union Place
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Phone (323) - 644 - 3885
Fax (213) - 481 - 8260
What is the organization's vision for the next year?
The vision for the next year centers around the development of their clinics. They hope to open a full-time clinic at the Belmont Health Services site by next year. By opening a new clinic, they hope to create a new medical home for families.
How will funds, donations, and volunteers be used?
Funds are used to support general operations; if they can get medical personnel, they can serve more individuals. Volunteers are used for health and general education programs.
What organizations, foundations, and influential people have supported the organization before?
The organization garners support from federal, state, county, and the city of Los Angeles. Additionally, over 30 separate foundations and corporate donors support the organization's work.
Most notable is their support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), otherwise known as Obama's 2009 stimulus funds. These funds will go towards the operating the Belmont center, which would effectively expand access to health care. County Supervisor Gloria Molina also donated $300,000 to the El Monte health clinic site.
Their various clinics have allowed them to collaborate The Enrollment Project has involved collaborations with the Chinatown Service Center, the South Asian Network, Los Angeles Korean Health Education Center, and Association of Pacific Community Health Organizations.
Message to Deliver to Donors, Volunteers, Partners:
"We have been very fortunate to have a great deal of support from the community to provide health care services to the underserved populations in Los Angeles County for almost 25 years. Every dollar donated to APHCV goes a long way to ensuring people who have low incomes, unemployed, uninsured, and limited English proficiency get the health care and education they need to lead long and healthy lives."
How can the community get involved?
The community can volunteer their time through consistent involvement in their programs centered around youth education.