Community Health Centers

The CHC is managed by various doctors, nurses and other health care personnels. Its organizational structure is a web of inter-connected individuals and groups that all help in the maintenance of health in the community. As of 2008, CHC has around “400 employees working in 21 state-licensed clinics (CHC, 2008). ” It also functions in coordination with the San Luis Obispo’s Department of Public Health, especially in the management of three of its Family Health Care Centers.

The CHC has an operational budget of over $40M as of 2008 (CHC, 2008), which are derived from the total of fees collected from its clinics, supplemented by donations from various individuals, income generating projects, some subsidies from the federal government, and other partnerships with different organizations. Population Served The CHC clinics serve the members of the general population, both old and young. However, the CHC targets populations that are of low income. They also target communities and community members that are uninsured.

They emphasize on the care for public housing residents, homeless individuals, and migrant or seasonal farm workers who migrate from one county to another in pursuit of work in peak harvesting or planting seasons in different farms (CHC, 2008). As of 2008, the clinics of CHC were able to provide medical and dental services to around 265,000 individuals (CHC, 2008). Services Provided The CHC provides primary, secondary and tertiary levels of prevention services dealing with pertussis. In the primary level, the CHC provides educational courses, group and family counseling, and health care promotion services.

They provide education and protection for babies, mothers and even health care professionals. They help with the information drive of the San Luis Obispo Public Health Department, and in the distribution of pamphlets encouraging vaccination as protection against pertussis. Most importantly, they provide vaccines against pertussis at very affordable costs. These primary preventions function as protection against pertussis. In the secondary level, the CHC offers services on Family Medicine, Internal Medicine and Pediatric Medicine.

This is done to immediately arrest the effects caused by pertussis. In the tertairy level, actively diagnosed cases are treated through clinic or home manage-ment, and hospitalization to prevent complications and other debilitating effects of the disease. Referral Conditions Eligibility Although there is no specific criteria that individuals seeking for health care need to meet, homeless individuals are given importance, as well as the individuals that are not insured or that do not have enough income to afford pertussis health care and vaccination costs.

Despite this, CHC clinics do accept insured patients. Pre-approvals are not needed, and physician recommendations are also not required. Affordability CHC welcomes all patients with private pay, Medi-Cal and Medicare, and even those that are fully or partially insured. However, for patients that do not have insurance, the CHC has a sliding fee scale based on the income of individuals, as well as on the family size. This is done to ensure that affordable health care is readily accessible to everyone in need of health care.

The sliding fee scale provides significant discounts to individuals and families who qualify, based on a limited income or family size (CHC, 2008). In addition to this, the CHC’s medical and dental fees are reviewed by the CHC’s Board of Directors in order to guarantee “sound financial advantage” and to ensure that the fees are “consistent with community standards (CHC, 2008). ” Availability The CHC has about 21 state-licensed clinics scattered all around the central coast counties of California. These clinics are strategically situated in central portions of the community, near national roads and other transportation means.

CHC clinics also offer After-Hours Care, wherein services can be provided by CHC personnels even after the clinics are closed. These CHC personnels are available through phone-contact via a 24-hour answering service program for emergency cases, especially for aggravated bouts of coughing and hypoxia in pertussis. Accessibility CHC clinics have provided for easier accessibility, especially since these clinics are situated near national roads. Also, in most clinics, multi-linguist personnels are provided. However, in other clinics where there is no such personnel, interpreters can be provided.

Most clinics are open from eight in the morning until four o’clock in the afternoon. However, as was mentioned earlier, After-Hours Care are also available through phone contact. Acceptability CHC services are generally accepted by the community, especially since services are formed in order to adapt to different incomes, family backgrounds, and cultures in the provision of quality and affordable care. Summary The alarming number of cases of Pertussis in San Luis Obispo has activated various mechanisms and agencies that help the community in dealing with the disease.

In fact, this upcoming August, various pertussis immunization drives have been set by the CHC in cordination with the San Luis Obispo Public Health Department. And since it was previously established in the first part of this paper that the pertussis epidemic in San Luis Obispo may be attributed to the lack of immunization and information of individuals, the services offered by the CHC can go a long way in preventing further cases of pertussis. However, in the end, people must remember that these agencies exist not to make them dependent on medical care, but rather, to make them independent directors of their own health.

References Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, I. (. (2008, April). Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, Inc. Retrieved August 2, 2010, from Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, Inc. : http://www. chccc. org/default. htm San Luis Obispo. (2009). City of San Luis Obispo (SLO) Demographic Profile 2008-2009. p. 1 San Luis Obispo. (2009). City of San Luis Obispo. Retrieved July 21, 2010, from http://www. slocity. org/ Russ; M. (2010; July).

Whooping Cough is Now an Epidemic in California. KPBS Retrieved July 21, 2010, from http://www. kpbs. org/news/2010/jul/20/whooping-cough-now-epidemic-california San Luis Obispo Public Health Department. (2009). Community Health Status Report. Retrieved July 21, 2010, from SLO+HSR+2009. pdf State of California. (2010). California Pertussis Summary Report. Retrieved July 21, 2010, from PertussisSummaryReport20100630. pdf Tucker, B. (2010, July 29). San Luis Obispo County to offer free Whoping Cough vaccines in August. Retrieved August 2, 2010, from KSBY News: http://www. ksby. com/news/san-luis-obispo-co-to-offer-free-whooping-cough-vaccines-in-august/

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