Community Newsletter - Feb 2014 In this Issue: ▪ Message from the CEO▪ TVHC News▪ Monthly Health Tip: Maintaining Your Child's Dental Health▪ Pol

   
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Community Newsletter - Feb 2014

In this Issue:

Message from the CEO
TVHC News
Monthly Health Tip: Maintaining Your Child's Dental Health
Policy Update - Measure A

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With a renewed commitment to bringing you relevant news of our organizational growth and our activities in the community, we aspire to send newsletters out on a monthly to quarterly basis. If you should ever wish to stop receiving these mailings, please scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "unsubscribe" to be removed immediately. We thank you for your continued support of our mission and hope you will continue to grow with us as we work to meet the healthcare needs of our community!

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Message from the CEO

David B. Vliet, MBA

With 2014 now upon us, Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center has a number of challenges in the upcoming year. In addition to the challenge of opening our new facility in San Leandro later in the spring/summer, we continue to work on improving our operational efficiency, service integration, and the upgrading of our information technology systems. All of these activities are key, with ensuring our community's access to care at Tiburcio Vasquez and an improvement in the health outcomes of our patients as the highest priorities.

Innovation and integration best describe our response to the challenges and opportunities we will face this year. We continue to look at ways that we can make simple changes to improve our patients’ access to care and communication with their providers. Over the coming year, we hope to develop new means to allow patients to schedule appointments and reach TVHC, Inc. in a more timely fashion using technological means. Integration requires that all facets of the organization work in concert to deliver excellent services to our community. Holding the two ideals above in mind, we continue to develop a cohesive definition of integration to ensure better-connected services and continuously improved quality of care and access to the many services provided at Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center.

This is a forward-looking and exciting year. We remain resolute that we will continue to improve the quality and access to care, assuring we meet our commitment to the community we serve.

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TVHC News

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Click on the photo to see the photo album!

TVHC Receives the Assistance of 80 Kaiser Volunteers to Repaint/Renovate Union City Campus

Kaiser selected TVHC as the recipient of an annual award which dedicates staff volunteer time to assist with a renovation project at a local nonprofit agency.

During their annual staff volunteer day, which takes place each year on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, Kaiser sent 80 volunteers to assist TVHC with repainting and renovating our longest-standing campus, as well as donating and assembling a picnic table for the staff lunch area.

We are grateful to Kaiser and its staff for assisting us with this project, and for our continued partnership in improving our community's overall health and access to care!

Much thanks to Elizabeth Camarena for photographing the event

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Click on the photo to see the album!

Silva Celebration & Open House

On February 7th, Silva celebrated its first year anniversary and hosted an open house. We kicked off the day with free dental exams in observance of Children's Dental Health Month and provided free exams to 12 uninsured children in 2 hours. 50% of the children were uninsured, 50% were high risk, and 30% had never had any dental care prior to the exam.

During the open house, Silva's Site Supervisor Yolanda Camarillo was honored with a TVHC High Five Award for her outstanding contributions in getting the Silva Clinic running again and easing the transitional process.

The open house attracted a large attendance with nearly 50 community leaders and partners stopping by to take a brief tour of the clinic and hear words of thanks from CEO David Vliet for their support, including Senator Ellen Corbett, Hayward City Council Member Francisco Zermeno, Supervisor Richard Valle (BOS-2), CEO of Alameda Health Consortium Ralph Silber, staff from Kaiser's Community Benefit Program, Administrators from the Children's Hospital of Oakland, Fremont Bank Foundation, and many more!

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TVHC is Seeking New Board Members

As a Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC), TVHC is required to maintain a 51% consumer (patient or client) majority in our Board of Directors. This ensures that the very people we serve have a say in the quality of the care they receive and collaborate with our executive management to make decisions about the future of our services.

TVHC is always looking for new consumer board members. If you or someone you know is a patient or client at TVHC and is interested in helping us pursue our mission to ensure quality care for all, regardless of ability to pay, we would like to hear from you!

In order to be considered to serve on our Board of Directors, the applicant must:

Reside in our service area (i.e. Fremont, Union City, Hayward, San Leandro)
Have a desire to participate in the governance activities associated with a community based, multi-service, outpatient healthcare facility
Be willing to go through the application and screening process with the BOD (includes SSN and ID verification, declaration of potential conflicts of interest, references and background check)
Can commit to attend regularly scheduled meetings (at least once or twice per month)
Support the vision and mission of TVHC’s pillars for ACCESS, QUALITY, and CULTURE

If you are interested in board service, please contact Executive Assistant & Member Services Manager, Monica Salgado, at (510) 471-5907 ext. 3321 or through email: msalgado@tvhc.org

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A Special-Needs Patient Finally Has a Health Home

Ernesto Ramirez* is a wheelchair-bound senior and has been unable to work due to his handicap and his undocumented status. He has considered himself fortunate, however, to have 6 younger brothers and sisters who have helped him throughout his life with getting the care he needs. Generally, when he has fallen ill, his siblings have each chipped in out of their own pockets to pay for his care, not knowing that programs like the Health Program of Alameda County (HealthPAC) exist specifically to fill the large gap in services for the vulnerable people who don't qualify for statewide aid programs like Medi-Cal. When Ernesto and his family came to TVHC, enrollment specialists were able to tell him about HealthPAC and determine whether he might be eligible. They helped him fill out and submit his application so that he could finally get the healthcare he needs--whenever he needs it--at the new health home he has found in TVHC. Upon completing the application process, Ernesto and his family were overcome with gratitude--after all these years, finally someone had been willing to take the time to hear his story and help to lighten his family's burden.

*Patient names changed to protect privacy

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Monthly Health Tip: Maintaining Your Child's Dental Health

February is Children's Dental Health Month! Here are some quick tips from our Dental Director, Dr. Sridevi Ponnala, for protecting your child's dental health at every age...in case you need to brush up on your dental health knowledge!

Baby (0-1 year old)

Wipe gums after every feeding with a soft cloth
Brush teeth with a baby toothbrush
Breast milk, formula, and water are healthiest for your baby. Sugary juices are not healthy for teeth or gums.

Pre-school (1-5 years old)

Brush teeth twice a day with a pea-sized amount of toothpaste containing fluoride
Get them started with flossing
Drink tap water (tap water contains minimal amounts of fluoride to help prevent dental decay)
Eat healthy snacks
Drink from cups only
Visit your dentist twice a year

Kindergarten (5-6 years old)

Continue to follow all of the preschool tips
Continue flossing
Avoid junk food, juice and soda. These contain sugars and starches which contribute to dental decay. Provide healthy snacks like sliced apples or baby carrots.
Talk to your dentist about sealants. Sealants are a thin protective coating painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth which prevent decay and pits from forming.

Additional Tips:

Brush your child's teeth until the child has developed the necessary skills. Set a good example by cleaning your teeth together.
Bacteria causes cavities. Don't share food or utensils, pre-chew food, use your mouth to clean bottles or pacifiers, or dip pacifiers in sugar or honey. All of these actions can introduce unwanted bacteria that can affect your child's oral health.

If you are looking for dental care for your child, please contact our Dental Department at (510) 471-5880, ext. 3982.

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Policy Update - Measure A

Lori Baptista, Director of Policy

Background on Measure A

Measure A, the Essential Health Care Services Initiative, was adopted by Alameda County voters in March 2004. The Measure authorized the County of Alameda to raise its sales tax by one-half cent in order to provide additional financial support for emergency medical, hospital inpatient, outpatient, public health, mental health and substance abuse services to low-income, uninsured and underinsured adults, children, families, seniors and other residents of Alameda County. The Measure has generated approximately $100 million annually.

Seventy-five percent (75%) of the proceeds are transferred directly to the Alameda County Medical Center (now Alameda Health Systems) and 25% of the proceeds are allocated by the Board of Supervisors (BOS), based on demonstrated need and the County's commitment to a geographically dispersed network of providers (this includes TVHC and the other 7 health centers in the Alameda Health Consortium). Since the first passage of Measure A, the BOS has approved base allocations in four broad categories including: Public Health, Behavioral Health, Administration/Indigent Health, and Board of Supervisors Discretionary Accounts.

Recent Activity and TVHC Efforts

Measure A was read before the Alameda County BOS for the second and final time last Tuesday at their weekly meeting in Chambers. Alameda Health Consortium and TVHC provided testimony last week in support the adoption of the resolution for the June 3 Primary Election ballot.

Despite limited testimony opposing this item, the BOS unanimously voted to adopt this proposed resolution to add Measure A to the ballot for the June 3, 2014 primary election, so as to provide additional support for emergency medical, inpatient/outpatient, public health, mental health & substance abuse services to low income/uninsured adults, children, families, seniors "and other residents" of Alameda County.

Passage of Measure A by the voters will extend essential health care services via a half-cent sales & use tax after the current measure sunsets in 2019. The reauthorization would extend this tax through 2034.

TVHC will be leading a concerted effort in our community to educate and inform residents about the importance of this measure, and the successful impact it has had on our service area and throughout the county to date.

Targeted strategies under consideration currently include:

1. Voter education forums in Central and Southern Alameda County
2. Voter registration efforts
3. Meetings with local (municipal), state and federal officials to update them on the importance of this issue
4. Participation in media outreach (letters to the editor: print and web-based)
5. Presentations at local collaboratives, stakeholders, and community groups
6. Get Out the Vote efforts to maximize voter turnout
7. Activities with Alameda Health Consortium, CHCN, County Health Care Services including County Behavioral Health, and more

This is of critical importance to the support of our health centers. Please join us in support of this important Measure. More information as to how you can be involved will be released in the near future, however, should you have any questions, please contact me via email at LBaptista@tvhc.org.

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