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Community Support

We believe that supporting other community programs and organizations is a vital component in serving the healthcare needs of the San Fernando Valley. For many years, Valley Presbyterian Hospital has worked with these organizations to identify specific needs and vulnerabilities in our service area, and partnered with them to address these gaps. It is through our combined efforts that we are able to reach more people who otherwise may not have access to healthcare or are vulnerable in other ways. In CY 2021, access to healthcare, chronic diseases, mental health, housing and homelessness, and food insecurity were ranked as the top priority needs in our service area. The following are some of the community benefit activities and programs that we supported in CY 2021, serving 66,126 community residents.

Click here to learn about our current priorities and how to become a Community Partner.

Access to Healthcare

Access to primary care provides community members with preventive measures and disease management, reducing the likelihood of hospitalizations and emergency room admissions. Yet, in the Valley Presbyterian Hospital service area, about 10% of the population is uninsured while another 18% receive Medi-Cal. Cost and insurance were cited by 62% of residents as the primary reason for delaying care. Other barriers to receiving the primary care they need are a lack of knowledge about the healthcare system, transportation challenges, and with undocumented immigrants, not feeling safe about accessing services.

Response to need and community impact:

To remove barriers and increase access to health care, we offered transportation services to 1,595 community residents free of charge to and from their homes and the hospital or a community clinic. In addition, we actively assisted more than 4,763 patients to enroll in Medi-Cal programs and other low-cost programs through Covered California, and partnered with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) to improve access to care.

Chronic Diseases with an Emphasis on Diabetes

Weight and lack of exercise are associated with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, which are major causes of disability and death. In our service area, about 57% of adults are either overweight or obese, while 15% of children ages 0-17 are overweight, and 21% of children ages 12-17 are obese. Common causes for weight gain and obesity are a lack of knowledge about healthy eating, lack of physical activity, and a poor diet. The affordability of fast food makes it easier to purchase high-caloric and fatty foods, and residents acknowledge there is a high concentration of fast food restaurants in the area. About 63% of adults also reported not getting 150 minutes of physical exercise a week as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Response to need and community impact:

In CY 2021, Valley Presbyterian Hospital maintained a presence in the community during the pandemic by sponsoring and participating in virtual and hybrid community events. We have been able to support numerous nutritious food programs, including those that directly impacted individuals with diabetes. We provided a Community Grant to Northeast Valley Health Corporation (NEVHC), a center that primarily improves access to care for the medically underserved community. With our support, NEVHC’s behavioral health screening for people living with diabetes increased to 2,430 participants.

In addition, for our annual Valley Presbyterian Hospital Community Health and Wellness Fair in October 2021, we pivoted to a socially distant event in accordance with county and state requirements. Ten community organizations partnered with us to provide 450 attendees with health education materials (including diabetes resources), 270 free flu shots, 600 healthy Grab-n-Go lunches, and activities for children.

Mental Health Services

Strong social networks and support systems contribute to positive mental health, while poverty and low education levels play a role in poor mental health. In some cases, individuals use drugs and alcohol to cope with mental health issues instead of seeking help. More than 20% of adults in our service area have identified the need to see a professional because of problems with mental health emotions or nerves, or use of alcohol or drugs. Although mental health care should be a priority, there are too few providers serving low-income individuals who are uninsured or on Medi-Cal. This inadequate access affects their ability to receive one-time and ongoing services.

Response to need and community impact:

In CY 2021, Valley Presbyterian Hospital increased access to mental health services through its tele-psych services, providing 714 consultations for 638 patients. This decreased the amount of time needed to evaluate a patient with possible mental health symptoms. In addition, while our hospital does not have dedicated inpatient mental health care beds, we financially supported inpatient mental health care for 302 low-income patients who were treated in the Emergency Department and then transported to a medically necessary, inpatient mental healthcare bed. In addition, we financed inpatient mental healthcare services at a trusted community partner center, supporting 124 vulnerable patients that needed inpatient psychiatric care.

Housing and Homelessness

Data from Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) indicates that homelessness increased from 2018 to 2020. In our service area, there were 9,108 homeless in 2020. Of those, 72% were unsheltered, and individuals with a serious substance abuse disorder was 27%. Without resources, they often end up cycling in and out of hospital Emergency Departments.

Response to need and community impact:

In CY 2021, during our Annual Hygiene Drive, Valley Presbyterian Hospital collected hygiene items for homeless families living in motels in collaboration with North Valley Caring Services, and our Compassion in Action staff collected food for the homeless, distributed through our partners. (Read more about this effort below.)

Food Insecurity

Food insecurity is an economic and social indicator of the health of a community. In our service area, nearly 38% of adults below 200% FPL cannot afford food and 22% use food stamps. Given the impact of the pandemic, food insecurity more prominently emerged as a significant need in the community.

Response to need and community impact:

To promote healthy eating for community residents with limited nutritionally adequate foods or an inability to acquire them, in CY 2021, Valley Presbyterian Hospital’s Compassion In Action volunteer staff participated in programs to feed the homeless, collect canned food to donate to local partners, and drive-through food distribution events throughout the community, serving more than 2,000 residents. As a beneficiary of our Food Insecurity Grant, North Valley Caring Services provided fresh produce and canned food to 2,000 residents. Another grant recipient, Puuku Cultural Center, reached over 290 families through its monthly food distribution.