A strong cast of CSH staff representing the San Diego office, the Western Region and the Consulting and Training teams came together February 23rd and 24th in Riverside County, California to host a community charrette for the Health Center Partners of Southern California (formerly the Council of Community Clinics). The purpose of the charrette was to jumpstart the Health Center Partners (HCP) strategic planning process, in order to better understand the health and social service needs in Riverside County. The two days, one held in Palm Springs and one held in Riverside, focused on health centers and other service providers in the region and addressed the issues of primary care, behavioral health care, and substance use treatment needs, with a particular emphasis on the vulnerable populations of seniors, those experiencing homelessness, and migrant farmworkers. The information gathered from the charrettes will inform HCP’s expansion of its scope to more effectively provide health centers in Riverside County with the programs, services, and community-partner linkages needed to provide coordinated, high quality care for their patients
The CSH planning and implementation team included Tom Stubberud, San Diego and Heather Lyons, Portland, as co-leaders of the Charrette. They received extensive support, which was provided by Nui Bezaire, Los Angeles; Kim Keaton, Kansas City; and Simonne Ruff, San Diego. The team also included Lauryn Berner of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council (NHCHC) in Nashville. NHCHC is CSH’s partner in the HRSA National Cooperative Agreement. Several other CHS staff served as experts in the charrette fishbowls, including Sharon Rapport and Susan Lee of Los Angeles, and Cheryl Winter of Washington, D.C.
The report-out presentation, held on March 1, 2016, included strong recommendations for Health Center Partners to continue this important work by; leading collaborative planning efforts in the Riverside region, supporting data and technology needs of the community health centers, championing efforts to advocate for and take advantage of state level health work, and advancing health professional capacity and career pathways, all in order to expand their footprint in Riverside to better serve their health center members.
The recommendations presentation to the HCP board of directors at their monthly board meeting was given by Tom Stubberud and Simonne Ruff was well received. During the question/comment period, one of the board members, Lori Holeman of Community Health Systems, Inc., an expert at the day 2 fishbowl summed it up succinctly by stating, “I think you nailed it”. We would agree! We were appreciative of the openness to allow us to facilitate this important health-focused charrette and we believe that this will be an important stepping stone in maintaining their newfound momentum with health centers and other key stakeholders in Riverside County.