MISSION VIEJO, Calif., Feb. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- To help the most vulnerable communities in south Orange County gain access to health care, Mission Hospital has for two decades forged strong supporting ties with San Juan Capistrano-based Camino Health Center. Now, thanks in part to the hospital's ongoing affiliation, a second Camino site has opened in San Clemente. Camino seeks to improve the health of the area's underserved through medical services, adult dental services for established medical patients, behavioral health services, and the federally-funded Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) health and nutrition program. Camino will also open a third Mission-affiliated health center in Lake Forest in the fall.
The expansion of services comes at a time when health care organizations are focusing not only on caring for people when they're sick but preventing them from illness. Regular checkups, education about exercise and eating nutritious foods, and caring for people mind, body and spirit are among the focuses.
"There's a widely believed misperception that Orange County, particularly south Orange County, is a region of wealth," said Debra Drew, chief executive officer, Camino Health Center, which has helped more than one million men, women and children in its more than thirty years serving the community. "The reality is that twenty-four percent of families in Orange County live in poverty. We have an ever-increasing number of community members who have nowhere to go for affordable or no-cost quality health care. Camino Health Center is bridging that gap and has become their medical home."
"The strong affiliation and symbiotic relationship between Mission Hospital and Camino augments the health center's focus on caring for patients in need and allows us to serve all patients regardless of their ability to pay," said Drew.
Because of the health center, patients who once would have gone to Mission Hospital's emergency department as their only source of care now have a home for their non-emergency medical needs. The health center is also a resource for patients discharged from Mission Hospital who need follow-up care. Center providers and staff work closely with clinicians at Mission Hospital to provide care for the uninsured and underinsured. Mission Hospital provides grant money to Camino through its Care for the Poor programs; and St. Joseph Health System, of which Mission Hospital is a part, provides legal services, administrative support, and other expertise.
"Mission Hospital supports Camino in a variety of ways because to do so extends our mission of hope and healing," said Christy Cornwall, director, community benefit. "Many of the health center's patients are unemployed or underemployed. Many of them do not have health insurance. By enabling access to care at Camino, Mission Hospital restores to these people a sense of security."
In the fall, Camino will open a third licensed health center in Lake Forest, co-located in a new building with Mission Hospital's Family Resource Center. The Family Resource Center provides social services such as counseling, family support, health care access services, and help with enrolling in public assistance programs; these services are bolstered and complemented by the health services provided by Camino. The licensed health center will also include expanded services such as optometry. The Family Resource Center will double in size from 5,000 square feet at its current location on Rockfield Boulevard to 10,000 square feet in the new building. Camino does not currently have a health center in Lake Forest, so the new building will allow Camino to expand into these communities with few primary care services.
All Camino Health Center physicians are board-certified, and center staff speaks 12 languages, allowing them to serve diverse populations.
"Everyone here has a calling for this work," Drew said.
For more information about Camino Health Center: http://www.caminohealthcenter.org/
For more information about Mission Hospital: http://www.mission4health.com/
About Mission Hospital
As a part of the St. Joseph Hoag Health network of care, Mission Hospital was founded in Mission Viejo in 1971 and has since grown to a two-campus facility with 552 beds and approximately 2,500 employees. Mission Hospital has been serving the greater needs of the community for over 40 years, improving the quality of life in the communities it serves. Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo is an acute care, full-service facility providing advanced health care services and diagnostic care to south Orange County and is the only designated trauma center in south Orange County.
Mission Hospital Laguna Beach joined the Mission Hospital family and St. Joseph Health in 2009, providing south Orange County coastal communities with 24-hour emergency and intensive care as well as medical-surgical/telemetry services. Mission Hospital offers specialty care in behavioral health, imaging, heart, neuroscience and spine, orthopedics and women's services. CHOC Children's at Mission Hospital is a 48-bed facility that is the area's only dedicated pediatric hospital for more than two decades. Fully accredited by The Joint Commission, Mission Hospital has received numerous awards and recognition for its high quality of care. For more information, visit www.mission4health.com.
SOURCE Mission Hospital