Many Californians go without needed health and social care, precluding the state from meeting its audacious equity goals. Nearly two million Californians are estimated to lack the mental health care services they need, and others lack regular access to a source of health care—a problem only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. And an estimated one-third of Americans, including many Californians, report that they are concerned with meeting their families’ social needs.
Community and industry partners have been working to address health and social disparities and enhance access to care in a culturally competent way. Community health workers and promotores de salud have been key to helping assist with access to services, critically during the COVID-19 response. Policy developments are supporting this work as well, with the Department of Health Care Services slated to add community health worker services as a Medi-Cal benefit by January 2023.
This in-depth conversation from community and industry leaders discusses: