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Community Programs

Through an investment in community benefit, the hospitals extend this same commitment to neighborhoods throughout Kern County.


Each year, Mercy and Memorial Hospitals impact the lives of individuals through wellness programs and health screenings, community events, educational programs and other community outreach services.

Since 1991, The Department of Special Needs & Community Outreach operates more than 40 programs in Kern County including Arvin, Shafter, McFarland, Bakersfield, Delano, Lake Isabella, Ridgecrest, Taft, and other outlying communities where there is limited access to health care and related services.

Our programs target low-income, uninsured, or underinsured individuals, as well as Kern County citizens with unmet health needs, including migrant farm workers and other disenfranchised populations. The department frequently collaborates with more than 100 public, private, and nonprofit organizations.

Learning and Outreach Center

Community outreach is very simply our mission in action - programs, services and support the hospitals provide to assist those less fortunate and to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve.

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Homemaker Care Program

The Homemaker Care Program helps seniors to live an independent lifestyle by enabling them to remain in their homes for as long as possible. Our services are provided at below market rates, ensuring they are affordable even for those on limited incomes.

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Community Health Initiative

If you have health insurance, it's easier to stay healthy because regular preventive care is available as part of your health plan. But insurance can be expensive if you don't have coverage through your job.

Our Community Health Initiative program will assist you in determining if you or your child might qualify for a free or low-cost public health insurance program. We will refer you to a Certified Application Assistant in your neighborhood who can answer your questions and guide you through the application process.

To learn more about Dignity Health's Community Health Initiative, please call (661) 632-5063 or (866) 863-0640.

Beyond the Walls Achievement Award

Dignity Health Mercy and Memorial Hospitals’ Department of Special Needs and Community Outreach receives the 2015 Achievement Citation from the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA). Each year, CHA offers awards that recognize remarkable contributions to Catholic health care.

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