All five projects address priority needs identified in the most recent Community Health Needs Assessments conducted by the hospitals, including mental health, homelessness and access to primary care. “Dignity Health Community Grants will help these collaborative partnerships to provide much needed, coordinated services to the underserved in our community,” said Laurie Harting, senior vice president, operations, greater Sacramento service area. “The grants allow our hospitals and community non-profit organizations to work together to strengthen safety net capacity, leverage resources and build a greater continuum of care for those we serve.”
In Sacramento County, $670,000 in community grants was awarded to three collaborative proposals.
The Navigation to Wellness Program
A collaboration led by Turning Point Community Programs in partnership with My Sister’s House, Consumers Self Help Center, Crime Victims Assistance Network (I-CAN) and National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). This program addresses the critical need for patients to be connected to mental health services in the community when they are ready to be discharged from hospital emergency departments. A Turning Point clinician works directly with emergency department social workers to support patients through the discharge planning process, address any immediate needs and provide a warm handoff to services provided by partners in the collaboration, including a peer support specialist, and other appropriate linkages to public and community services.
Sacramento Downtown Homeless Mental Health Outreach Project
A collaboration led by Sacramento Step Forward (SSF), in partnership with Sacramento Loaves & Fishes, Downtown Sacramento Foundation, and TLCS, Inc. This program addresses the issue of mental health, homelessness and intensive outpatient mental health care. This collaborative is part of the Common Cents Continuum of Care plan that is pioneering the usage of an integrated standardized assessment tool, VISPDAT, (Vulnerability Index Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool) providing a central intake system, via the Homeless Coordinated Entry System. This tool helps to identify the appropriate housing placement option for each person.
The Mental Health Outreach Project primarily serves the chronically homeless patient that comes through the emergency department of Mercy General Hospital. Each patient, who is referred by a social work team, to a SSF navigator, is connected to available supportive services for a seamless process enhancing access to care. This program also serves those on the streets of Downtown Sacramento, where outreach specialists, navigators from TLCS, and master’s level mental health specialists are in position to work with hard-to-reach chronically homeless individuals and connect them with medical, behavioral, supportive, and housing services.
The WayUp Station
The primary mission of the WayUp Station is to ensure community resources for health and social services are available to residents of Oak Park. This on-site referral kiosk supports the health, welfare and rising level of sustainable prosperity for children and families in the community by linking individuals to needed resources in five specific areas: education, health access, housing, nutrition, and workforce development and employment. This collaborative effort engages WayUp Sacramento, Sacramento Covered, and WellSpace Health, and includes on-site community navigators who are certified educators and enrollment counselors.
In Yolo County, a $67,000 grant was awarded to one collaborative proposal.
Enhanced Mental Health Crisis Services
Suicide Prevention of Yolo County, Yolo Community Care Continuum (Safe Harbor) and Yolo Family Service Agency have joined forces to address the gap that exists within the community for short-term crisis residential and outpatient mental health services. These partners are working directly with Woodland Memorial Hospital to support individuals who need short-term crisis residential services rather than inpatient treatment, linking them to Safe Harbor for intervention and stabilization. Individuals also receive follow-up care and outpatient mental health care through Yolo Community Care Continuum and the Yolo Family Service Agency. The goal of this unique program is to better the lives of people with mental illness by providing direct access to therapy and services.
In Nevada County, a $62,508 community grant was awarded to one collaborative proposal.
The Integrated Care Coordination for Family Wellness Program is a collaborative led by FREED Center for Independent Living in partnership with Western Sierra Medical Clinic (WSMC) and Community Recovery Resources (CoRR). The primary objective of this program is to improve patient care and health outcomes by addressing social determinates of health and streamlining access to preventative and treatment services. A FREED navigator is stationed at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital providing assistance in the emergency department to link underserved patients to WSMC and CoRR, and working directly with hospital care coordinators to ensure patients have access to the Care Transition Intervention Program.
Grants are funded by contributions from Dignity Health’s member hospitals. In the greater Sacramento region, Dignity Health hospitals that contribute to the grants program are Mercy General Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Folsom, Mercy San Juan Medical Center, Methodist Hospital of Sacramento, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and Woodland Memorial Hospital. Across the Dignity Health system, 87 community grants were awarded totaling $4.1 million.