In February, Eréndira Munoz was diagnosed with diabetes. Her doctor recommended she see a dietitian, but once the pandemic hit in March, she found it hard to get an appointment. Her teenage son, Jacob, also worried about his high blood pressure.
For community members like Eréndira and Jacob, MLKCH’s bright blue Healthy Moves van has made healthcare easy and accessible—even during a pandemic.
“There are a lot of people in the community who are afraid of going into the clinic, being exposed to the virus. The fact that [the screenings] are outdoors, it’s a different approach to our health,” says Eréndira.
Funded in partnership with Health Net through a generous $100,000 grant, the van was designed to support MLKCH’s Know Your Basics program, which brings health screenings directly to the community.
At farmers’ markets and neighborhood fairs, people learned their body mass index, blood pressure numbers, and glucose levels, and received one-on-one consultation with nurses about their concerns.
When COVID came, MLKCH pivoted quickly. LA County opened a test site on the MLKCH campus, and the Population Health team saw an opportunity to bring the Healthy Moves van back to anchor a site for health screenings and education. Responding to the needs of the community, MLKCH and Health Net have even begun offering free weekly flu shots.
“Right away, we had really high screening numbers again,” says Lauren Espy, MLKCH’s Manager of Community Programs.
“Partnering with key community stakeholders is one way we aim to improve the health of our communities,” says Martha Santana-Chin, Government Programs Officer at Health Net. “We are proud to partner with MLKCH to bring healthcare in innovative ways directly to community members—before, during, and after this pandemic.”
About Health Net
At Health Net, we believe every person deserves a safety net for their health, regardless of age, income, employment status or current state of health. So, we use our expertise and resources to serve California’s most vulnerable population every day. To do that, we work hard to cultivate partnerships that align with our mission and goals to improve the health of our community, one person at a time. As a California-based company founded more than forty years ago, we remain steadfast in our commitment to serve as both as a resource to the state and an active member of the communities where we operate. This grant is part of our investment of more than $40 million that we’ve dedicated to Bridging the Divide in access, equity and quality of care.