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Access to Care

Healthy communities ensure individuals can easily get care that is affordable, culturally and linguistically appropriate, and available when and where they need it.

Community members responded that improving access to health care was the top health issue that must be addressed to improve the quality of life in our community in the 2023 SLO County Community Health Survey. ​This topic consistently came up in focus group discussions, stakeholder interviews, and in open-ended survey responses. The CHIP workgroup noted that special attention must be given to key communities and groups who had less access to care, such as lower-income community members and those living in rural areas.  Partners noted that bolstering the healthcare workforce was also critical.

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GOal 1 -
Recruit and retain providers IN the Central Coast.

Objective 1: Develop local pipeline(s) & training programs for Physical, Behavioral, and Oral Health.

1.1 Gather current data from businesses and conduct a market assessment of local healthcare positions (number and type of positions needed).

1.2 Identify educational/training/ professional development opportunities to build the capacity of support staff, including community support (CHW/P) and Enhanced Care Management roles.

1.3 Partner with Cal Poly, Cuesta, Allan Hancock, A. T. Still University, local residency programs, and/or other educational organizations to expand existing, and build new pathways, for career development.

Objective 2:  Retain local healthcare workforce and identify funding/investment opportunities.

2.1 Design and implement a survey to health-related employers/employees to identify challenges to retention (permanent vs. contracted positions).

 

2.2 Advocate for changes to SLO County's rural designation for Medicare reimbursement rates and to increase Medi-Cal reimbursement rates in general.

2.3 Research and find funding sources to support local healthcare workforce development activities.

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GOal 2 -
Expand services in remote areas and to hard-to-reach populations.

Objective 1: Increase healthcare visits performed in remote areas of the county by 20% (e.g. through mobile or pop-up clinics, resource fairs).

1.1 Create list of current organizations that use mobile and pop-up clinics, and the locations, frequencies and services provided.

1.2 Based on identified gaps, research the locations, staffing and services needed in expanded mobile operations.

1.3 Investigate partnerships, funding opportunities and alternative staffing (e.g. community health workers, promotores) approaches to meet the demand.

1.4 Create training suite that helps inform providers on the cultural and linguistic needs of their target population.

1.5 Create and utilize a system of closed-loop referrals for other needed supports and programs (e.g. housing, mental health, transportation) that is culturally, linguistically, and generationally appropriate.

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