The non-profit sector enjoys exemption from income and many other taxes, in exchange for providing public benefits. Most non-profit hospitals are involved in their communities in various ways. Some become extensively involved in providing services to their community’s safety net by increasing primary health care access for indigent and low income persons.
In a period in which the state and county governmental resources are stretched thin, the role of the non-profit sector in meeting a community’s needs become ever more important. A roundtable discussing the role of two health systems in addressing community problems is scheduled. (See: 21st National Conference on Primary Health Care Access April 12-15, 2010 in Kaua’i.)
Doctor Rick Flinders of the Santa Rosa family medicine residency program will speak to the community network created in Sonoma County, California involving the Sutter Hospital system, the Kaiser Permanente foundations and several federally qualified health centers that are providing both service and education to the community.
Doctor Flinders will be joined by two colleagues. Doctor Jimmy Hara of the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Department of Family Medicine and Delight Erickson of the Sutter/Memorial Hospital rural health clinic in Los Banos, California.
Doctor Hara represents a not-for-profit hospital and health plan with a community medicine fellowship and residency rotations at the Venice Family Clinic, the Saban Free Clinic, the Asian Pacific Healthcare Venture, the UCLA Mobile Clinic, and the Salvation Army Homeless Shelter.
California Kaiser-Permanente has a partnership with the California Primary Care Association, and Dr Hara assisted Dr Flinders with the a new community partnership to govern the Santa Rosa residency.
He also chairs the California Health Professions Policy Commission (that administers the Song-Brown Family Physician Training Act) and participated in the affiliated Health Professions Education Commission. Dr Hara is prominent in the Physicians for Social Responsibility, and is chair of the Board of Directors of the Venice Family Clinic, that is affiliated with the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Department of Family MEdicine.
Dr Hara was recongnized by the California Medical Board as the Physician Humanitarian of the Year.
Also participating will be Delight Erickson, a Family Nurse Practitioner, who staffs a Rural Health Clinic in the Central Valley of Los Banos. The clinic is associated with Sutter Health’s Memorial Hospital in Los Banos.
The community of Los Banos, on the Western side of the great Central Valley of California, historically a community that has supported the region’s agricultural economy, has, in recent years, become a center for relatively low cost housing for persons employed in the Bay Area.
The Rural Health Center serves a diverse, multicultural population of low income and “no income” patients. It provides full range of primary care, including women’s health, pre-natal care, and children’s health services.