A recent community needs assessment revealed children and adults living in the Centinela Valley—Inglewood, Hawthorne, Lennox, Los Angeles, El Segundo, Watts, Compton and Lawndale—were in need of additional dental care and mental health support. To provide assistance to our northern neighbors, Torrance Memorial Medical Center recently applied for and received a $500,000 California Community Foundation (CCF) grant, gifted from the Centinela Valley Medical and Community Fund.
The fund was established by a more than $50 million trust created from the sale of Centinela Hospital Medical Center to a forprofit corporation. It’s designed to promote and improve the health and quality of life of children and adults throughout the Centinela Valley.
“A key component is the utilization of a case manager,” says Claire Coignard, director of Health Education at Torrance Memorial. “This means once someone’s needs are identified, the referral information is provided and the individual is introduced to a physician, dentist, or mental health specialist.” She continues, “I like to call this ‘a warm handoff ’ because the case manager engages as a support system for the individual, helping to guide them to the appropriate provider of care.”
According to Coignard, the grant will expand access to timely, affordable and high-quality health care and health promotion services—something many in the community have had challenges obtaining.
Over the next two years Torrance Memorial will partner with South Bay Children’s Health Center (SBCHC) to identify community health needs, as well as educate the community on the dental, mental health and medical resources available to them, linking residents with a medical and dental home. In addition, the grant will expand Healthy Ever After, a school-based nutrition program sponsored by Torrance Memorial’s Lundquist Cardiovascular Institute that teaches elementary school children about making better food choices and enlightens them on healthy lifestyles. It will also provide education about Affordable Care Act insurance coverage.