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West Sacramento Sun

Access to Healthcare Expands for Yolo County Residents

Dec 29, 2021 12:00AM ● By Yolo County Press Release

WOODLAND, CA (MPG) - Coinciding with National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day, Yolo County and its partnership with CommuniCare Health Center’s Mobile Medicine Team announces an exciting expansion of services for all unhoused persons located in encampments, shelters, and migrant work centers countywide. The new team heads to the streets in Woodland on Mondays, Davis on Tuesdays, West Sacramento on Thursdays, and reaches into rural communities like Clarksburg, Dunnigan, Esparto, Guinda, Rumsey Indian Rancheria, Knights Landing and Monument Hills.

Originally, the Mobile Medicine Team’s services were limited to Yolo County Shelter-in-Place Motels. Beginning in 2022, care will be delivered out of a new, state-of-the-art medical vehicle equipped for medical and dental care as well as mental health services. Staff includes medical, dental, behavioral health clinicians and peer advocates who provide treatment for chronic disease, acute conditions, wounds, substance use disorders, dental and mental health care. The team will strive to connect patients with ongoing primary care at their assigned or chosen medical home clinic. 

“Mobile Medicine is an outgrowth of a unique partnership between the County and our health system partners, targeting services to those disproportionately impacted by poverty and limited access to healthcare,” says Karen Larsen, Director, Yolo County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA). “We are proud to have CommuniCare Health Centers on the streets and in our rural communities where access to care can be a challenge.”

The need for mobile medicine will continue to grow. As pandemic unemployment payments and the eviction moratorium end, more families are expected to slip into unstable housing. Yolo County has experienced a rise in unhoused population coinciding with pandemic-driven illness and job loss. Additionally, farm labor is one of the most dangerous occupations in the country and farmworkers suffer from occupational risks, disproportionate general health issues and extreme barriers to care. Mobile Medicine is an answer to many of the issues outlined for these vulnerable populations.

This service expansion is possible through community benefit investments from Sutter Health, Dignity Health and the Woodland Clinic Medical Group. HHSA is providing the equipment and the new outfitted van. Staffing and operational support is being provided by CommuniCare Health Centers. In total, a more than $1 million initial investment has been made to care for Yolo County’s most-vulnerable residents; this initial funding will last two years.

Since 1990, the National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day highlights the plight of our unhoused population and encourages the public to act on their behalf. Each year, we remember those in our unhoused population who have passed away and we strengthen our resolve to build a community where no life is lived or lost experiencing homelessness. This day takes place annually on the longest night of the year, the winter solstice; in 2021, it takes place on December 21. Given the importance of these services for our unhoused population, the partners are excited to share this amazing program on such an impactful day.

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