Tuesday, August 3, 2010 12:00 AM

California HealthCare Foundation pledge will boost patient education and outreach

Patients and their families at Community Regional Medical Center and Community Behavioral Health Center will benefit thanks to a $100,000 pledge from the California HealthCare Foundation.

This is the first year of a two-year pledge that will enhance patient education in cardiovascular services at Community Regional and assist the Behavioral Health Center with its outreach efforts.

“This is an opportunity that we’re blessed with because of the leadership of Ralph Garcia,” said Rob Saroyan, vice president, Community Medical Foundation.

Garcia is a Community board member who also serves on the board of the California HealthCare Foundation. Saroyan said he has been instrumental in bringing pledges like these to help Community and the underserved.

“I want to keep those dollars in the safety nets that are serving most of the people,” Garcia said.

A portion of the funds will be used to produce educational videos for patients and their families about how to prepare and what to expect during and after cardiovascular treatment and procedures. Phyllis Baltz, chief operating officer at Community Regional said these videos will be produced in English and in Spanish. According to Baltz, about 30% of the hospital population speaks Spanish.

“We will be able to provide better service to patients and their families through this enhanced education,” Baltz said.

Outreach efforts at the Behavioral Health Center also will be bolstered by the pledge.

“We feel so grateful to the California HealthCare Foundation,” said Dawan Haubursin, chief executive officer of the Behavioral Health Center. “Decreased resources throughout the county and state make it more important than ever to help meet the needs of the underserved in our community.”

The California HealthCare Foundation is an independent philanthropy committed to improving the way health care is delivered and financed in California.

This story was reported by Jennifer Avila-Allen. She can be reached at javila@communitymedical.org.