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Blog Posts from January 2019

Blog Posts from January 2019

The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) applauds Governor Newsom for proposing historic investments to achieve health equity. While the Governor’s budget proposal is a great first step, we call on the Governor and Administration to work with local, regional and state leaders to prioritize action on the key health equity recommendations outlined below in order to improve health outcomes for ALL Californians.

Who we are: CPEHN is a statewide multicultural health advocacy organization. Founded over 25 years ago, CPEHN unites communities of color to achieve health and wellness, and to eliminate persistent health inequities. We derive our strength from our mobilizing arm, the Having Our Say (HOS) coalition which consists of over 30 community-based organizations across California working together to improve access to care and health outcomes as well as through our Behavioral Health Equity Collaborative (BHEC) and California Oral Health Network (COHN) partners.

The Stockton community mobilizes to reduce mental health disparities for the city’s most vulnerable population.

Advocates held the Stockton Reducing Disparities Public Hearing on December 11th 2018 from 10 AM- 3 PM at the historic Stockton Masonic Temple to showcase programs that reduce stigma for mental health and to bolster cultural pride among vulnerable population. Attendees also strategized how different stakeholders and community leaders should work together to reduce mental health disparities.

Stockton has gained much media attention since the city rolled out a pilot Universal Basic Income (UBI) in 2018, a bold program proposed by Stockton’s 27-year old mayor Michael Tubbs. This represents tremendous progress due to a deep economic and health disparities that exist even within the city, with Stockton City South underperforming compared to Stockton City North. Even with the progress the city has achieved, many still face barriers in accessing quality health care in Stockton and the greater San Joaquin County, especially for communities of color and LGBTQ population.

On Thursday, January 10th, Governor Gavin Newsom released his FY 2019-2020 State Budget. The $209 billion spending plan proposes an historic investment in health equity and health care quality, providing millions in funding to tackle disparities in pre-natal and post-partum care, chronic conditions and mental health. The budget also includes new funding to expand access to health care for undocumented young adults and improves affordability assistance in Covered California for low to middle income individuals earning between 250-600% of the Federal Poverty Level ($30,350 and $72,360 for a single individual) by strengthening and expanding subsidies.

CPEHN supports the additional investments proposed by the Newsom Administration that will prioritize the health of our most vulnerable communities. To view the full budget proposal click here.

Within the first week of his tenure, Governor Newsom announced a number of health care actions, including an executive order to establish a California Surgeon General. We applaud the Governor's decision to establish the position focused on a comprehensive approach to addressing health risks and challenges, including identifying social determinants of health and persistent inequities in the health of communities.

Recommendations

Today, CPEHN sent a letter to the Governor thanking him for his bold vision and outlining recommendations in order to make the most of this opportunity. We believe that the California Surgeon General can provide much needed leadership to eliminate inequities that have existed for far too long. While California has instituted components of this work across state government, including the Office of Health Equity, statewide vision and implementation is sorely needed. In order to actualize this vision, we recommend the following considerations for the California Surgeon General:

Dignity in Discharge Law: What You Need to Know 

CPEHN was proud to sponsor Senate Bill (SB) 1152 in 2017-2018. Thank you to author Senator Ed Hernandez and to all of our community partners who helped lobby for this bill. CPEHN stands committed to seeing a successful implementation of the law surrounding this important issue. Read below to find out more about the changes we will see this year.

Beginning January 1, 2019, all hospitals in California must develop a plan for safely discharging patients without homes. This law prohibits hospitals from engaging in previously reported tactics, such as discharging patients in hospital gowns, leaving patients at unsafe locations, and failing to make necessary mental health referrals.

Specifically, hospitals must do the following:

  1. Attempt to secure a sheltered discharge location, resource permitting, or discharge a patient to the location of their choice.
  2. Provide transportation to the discharge location, within 30 miles or 30 minutes of the hospital.
  3. Offer the patient weather-appropriate clothes.
  4. Offer the patient a meal.
  5. Provide referrals to health and mental health resources.


Note for homeless services providers: The law directs hospitals to receive your agreement to discharge a patient to your facility. The law states a preference for this arrangement in order to best coordinate care. However, in order to protect the rights of the patient, if a patient specifically requests to be discharged to your facility, the hospital may do so regardless of your agreement or the appropriateness. If the patient has not specifically requested your facility and the hospital transports the patient there without your agreement, that hospital is in violation of the law and you should report the violation as directed below.