O’Connor Hospital to Benefit from Covered California Grant Slated to be Received by St. Francis Medical Center Foundation

Lynnwood, CA — St. Francis Medical Center Foundation is slated to receive a $750,000 grant from Covered California, the state’s recently formed health benefit exchange under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Covered California will facilitate the development of a new health insurance marketplace for Californians through the establishment of a statewide network of community organizations.

As one of the first 48 organizations to receive Covered California funds, St. Francis Medical Center will work collaboratively to provide culturally and linguistically relevant outreach to millions of Californians who will be newly eligible for health insurance under the ACA in 2014.  The contract and grant award will be finalized in July.

St. Francis Medical Center is a member of Daughters of Charity Health System (DCHS), and its outreach efforts are part of an integrated program with member hospitals of DCHS.  The system-wide project known as HealthFirst! partners St. Francis Medical Center, St. Vincent Medical Center, O’Connor Hospital, Seton Medical Center and Saint Louise Regional Hospital to reach more than 99,000 individuals in Los Angeles, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties during the July 1, 2013 through December 2014 grant period.

HealthFirst! utilizes the best-practice model of each hospital’s Health Benefits Resource Center (HBRC) to deliver information on California’s new health benefit exchange to their communities. Using trained Promotoras, or Community Health Educators, who are from the local area and have a connection to residents, the program will reach out to individuals and families through their work, faith-based organizations, schools, community meetings and events, and popular locations for shopping and recreation.

“St. Francis Medical Center’s mission is to serve the health care needs of our community,” stated Gerald Kozai, president/CEO for St. Francis Medical Center.  He continued, “HealthFirst! reflects our hospital and health system’s shared mission with Covered California to increase the number of residents with health insurance, improve the quality of health care, reduce health care coverage costs and ensure California’s diverse population has fair and equal access to quality health coverage.”

“Many of the individuals in our community face significant challenges,” said Dub Drees, vice president of Development and CEO of the St. Francis Medical Center Foundation.  “A large number have never had or lost their health insurance coverage, and many have limited English proficiency.  This grant gives us the opportunity to reach out to these individuals and include them in this important health care conversation that will lead them to make an informed health plan choice for themselves and their family.”