HEALTH IMPROVEMENT PARTNERSHIP OF SANTA CRUZ COUNTY 

2022 ANNUAL REPORT

A WORD FROM HIP

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Dear HIP Partners and Community,

 

As we unveil this 2022 Annual Report, we see growing support both conceptually and legally for individuals' right to choose the healthcare that is best for them, following grave threats to this right. Simultaneously, we see more and more public servants reflecting the rich diversity of our communities. These leaders marshal their race/ethnicity, gender and/or gender identity, ability status, other significant identity markers, and lived experience to drive systems change toward remedying longstanding inequities. I feel this same dynamic from HIP’s team. 

 

This look back at 2022 reflects HIP’s continued efforts to convene, illuminate, advocate, and foster collaboration to drive toward equitable outcomes in health and wellbeing. HIP’s 2022 goals demanded that we embed equity as a value and guiding star.

Emerging from a year of transition, we reaffirm and recommit to health equity as our North Star. As an organization, we will build on this year’s transformational racial identity work with Dr. Victoria Ngo, UC Davis Research Fellow, and Dr. Jann Murray-Garcia, Director of Social Justice and Immersive Learning at UC Davis’ Office of Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Now, with a shared understanding of the historical, structural, systemic, and systematic dimensions of racism, Dr. Jann Murray-Garcia’s provocative question will propel us and center our work in 2023:  "How is it that we can't find a racist in the room and yet we continue to produce racialized outcomes? We are responsible for both the intent and the outcome.”

 

Closing 2022, proud of the shared accomplishments described here, we approach the new year with fierce hope and determination. HIP will craft intentionally designed spaces for collaboration to close racialized gaps in health status and outcomes. In these spaces, we will affirm community strengths and acknowledge community trauma and history. We will invite truthful sharing of personal stories so that we can design systems that truly heal and resolve glaring gaps in health in order to co-create a thriving, loving, connected community. To HIP, this is how we see our current path to strengthen and embed health equity. 

We know we can achieve this. We invite you to join us.

 

In love and partnership,

Maritza

Maritza Lara

Credentials: MS, RN, PHN

Interim Executive Director

MEET OUR TEAM

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ALI
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Ali Hayes
Senior Program Coordinator

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BERENICE
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Berenice Herrera-Lopez
Operations and Program Coordinator

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EMILY

Emily Levin-Rosenshine

AmeriCorps VISTA Member

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ESTEBAN
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Esteban Rosales

Intern

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HAYLEY

Hayley Mears

Workforce Development Program Manager

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LAURA

Laura Wishart

Program Manager

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MARITZA
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Maritza Lara

Interim Executive Director

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GUSTAVO

Gustavo Indarose

Program Coordinator

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MAYA
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Maya Reed

Program Assistant

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PRISCILA

Priscila Bacio
Program Assistant

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RITA
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Rita Hewitt
Program Manager

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SUZETTE
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Suzette DiVirgilio

Programs Director

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TRUDY

Trudy Bearden
Interim Programs Director

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MARIA
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Maria Jerezano

Program Assistant

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PAOLA

Paola Luna
Program Manager

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THOMAS

Thomas Hicken

Intern

HIP MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS

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Hepatitis C Care Cascade Network

The Health Improvement Partnership and Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency partnered to build and support a robust network of hepatitis C providers.

Our Goal

To build a network of providers to share best practices, hepatitis C virus (HCV) updates, and opportunities to improve HVC screening, testing, treatment, and linkages to care through regular convenings and bolstering  HVC champions in Santa Cruz County.

In early 2021, Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency engaged HIP to scan the landscape of HCV disease awareness, screening, and treatment in Santa Cruz County. Our findings included: 

  • Lack of standardized screening

  • Ample HCV data gaps

  • Need for linkage to care
     

These findings led to the development of the Hepatitis C Care Cascade, which is beginning to break silos and streamline care as providers share best practices and ideas to mitigate barriers.

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2022 Accomplishments:
 

In the Summer of 2022, HIP and the Santa Cruz County Public Health Division successfully delivered a HCV Provider training for 44 HCV treating providers and clinical staff.

 

HIP and Santa Cruz County Public Health Division have collaboratively delivered 3 convenings in 2022. Current HCV data and information, along with best practices is presented on a quarterly basis. On average, there are 36 attendees per session.

Streamlining Families’ Access to WIC 

In partnership with Santa Cruz Health Information Organization (SCHIO), Community Bridges - Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Salud Para La Gente, and Unite Us

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Since Community Bridges - WIC onboarded to Unite Us in May 2022, 310 new cases representing 139 individuals and families have been referred for WIC services.  

 

By making health information available to WIC upon referral and streamlining the eligibility process, each individual can more efficiently and compassionately access the services they need.

“HIP facilitated the connection and information interface between the SCHIO Together We Care program, Community Bridges, WIC and Salud Para La Gente in Watsonville. This was the first time that we combined both clinical and social services data into a single, closed loop referral and workflow making a tremendous positive impact on multiple lives.”
- Dan Chavez, Executive Director for SCHIO

Pediatric Health Workgroup

Composed of pediatric physicians, nurse practitioners, local public health representatives, and educators, the Santa Cruz County’s Pediatric Health Workgroup serves to ensure our community’s children, youth, and families experience every opportunity to thrive.

2021-22 Achievements

  • Hosted 39 calls sharing resources, best practices, and population health data on COVID-19. Other topics addressed include: mental health, substance use, immunizations, and nutrition education.

  • Authored two opinion pieces on COVID-19 vaccinations for young children published by the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Partners

• Dignity Health – Dominican Hospital

• Kaiser Permanente

• Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF)

• Salud Para La Gente

• Santa Cruz Community Health

• Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency

• Santa Cruz County Office of Education

• Watsonville Community Hospital

Coordinated, developed, and disseminated a comprehensive Behavioral Health Resources Guide to aid clinicians and their clinical teams in referring and advocating for patients and their families with supportive, community resources.

“The HIP Pediatric Work Group has provided a unified enhanced voice for pediatricians to address medical issues critical for our county’s children. It has also been an important forum for pediatricians to exchange information and set strategies.”

- Cal Gordon MD, Deputy Health Officer and CMS Medical Consultant, County of Santa Cruz Public Health

Clinician Resource Call

In partnership with the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, HIP virtually connects a network of clinicians to share data, resources, and key updates that strengthen our collective response to COVID-19 and other emerging population health threats

Our Goal
To mitigate the spread of disease, increase vaccination rates, and ensure equitable access to data and resources to clinicians serving Santa Cruz County residents. 

HIP and the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency have collaboratively delivered
14 sessions averaging 100 attendees in 2022.

Leveraging this information-sharing platform, HIP has strengthened partnerships with the local health jurisdiction, County Office of Education, healthcare leaders, and community-based partners through convening, linking, and building trust. 

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SafeRx Santa Cruz County

SafeRx Santa Cruz County (SafeRx) is an action-oriented substance use safety coalition dedicated to equitably aligning and accelerating best practices for opioids and other substances to reduce death. It is our mission to create enduring change so that all people in Santa Cruz County equitably experience well-being, safety, dignity, and self-determination.

“In the U.S., deaths from opioid overdoses in teens ages 14 to 18 increased
by 94% between 2019 and 2020 and by an additional 20% between 2020 and 2021.” ​—CDC 

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 Spanish Naloxone awareness and resource billboard to engage community members and youth in Watsonville 

Let’s Talk Booklet - an educational mental health and substance use resource disseminated to local 2,500 youth and families

2021-22 Achievements
 

Expanded impact by establishing a regional Tri-County Collaborative with Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito substance use safety coalitions. Through this collaborative, SafeRx was able to leverage resources and develop a Let’s Talk Booklet - an educational mental health and substance use resource guide - disseminated to 2,500 youth and families in Santa Cruz County.

Partnered with the County Office of Education (COE) to establish a countywide Narcan policy and conduct Narcan training to over 100 school staff members. 


Increased Access to Treatment by collaborating with Santa Cruz Community Health (SCCH) to promote awareness and adoption of local medication for addiction treatment (MAT) for youth programs 

Fostered Community Knowledge and Skills by providing a Community Fentanyl Town Hall to over 200 attendees focusing on overdose prevention and local resources.

“SafeRx has given a platform to share, connect and collaborate with our community about screening and best practice treatment for adolescents and youth with substance use disorders.  Safe Rx  arranges  time sensitive meetings in our community to provide real time data re: illicit fentanyl and action planning for prevention of overdoses for our highest risk populations including youth”
—Kristen O’Connor RN BSN CARN Office Based Addiction Treatment (OBAT) Program Manager

"I commend SafeRx for providing us with support and tools to promote awareness and offer a platform for parents to discuss the risks of substance use, preventative steps, and resources for those who need help. SafeRx is an essential partner working to keep our school community informed, healthy, and safe."
—Dr. Faris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools

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The Santa Cruz County Health Workforce Council

In partnership with

Structured to reflect a comprehensive representation of healthcare workforce issues, HIP’s new Workforce Development Program aims to build, strengthen, and diversify the Santa Cruz County healthcare workforce by mobilizing leaders and organizations to collaborate and invest in local planning for the future of the healthcare workforce in our county.

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Achievements This Year:

  • Conducted a listening tour with 21 organizations across the county

  • Compiled the findings in a 33-page report 

  • Identified 6 workforce tracks

  • Launched the Health Workforce Council in June 2022

  • Established 4 workgroups

  • Applied for 3 workforce grants

“The healthcare industry accounts for roughly 14% of all jobs in Santa Cruz County and has long been a source for living wage employment.  Serving on the frontlines of the pandemic, the healthcare industry has seen unprecedented disruption, creating a unique opportunity to rethink how we engage and train the future workforce.  We are thrilled to partner with the Health Improvement Partnership and the newly formed Health Workforce Council to help build, strengthen and diversify this vital industry.”
—Andy Stone, Director of the Santa Cruz County Workforce Development Board

Continuing Medical Education - CME 

Offering a menu of customized CME services, HIP continues to support evidence-based clinical education ranging from full learning session development and facilitation to providing CME/CEU certificates for other learning programs.

2021-22 CME/CEU Events
 

  • Drug Addiction and Hormone Management for the LGBTQ+ Community (June 2022)

  • Ongoing Lessons From the Pandemic: Addressing Youth Mental Health and Opportunities for Resilience (March 2022)

  • ACEs Screening: Promoting Resilience for All (March 2022)

  • Advanced Atrial Fibrillation Solutions (December 2021)

  • The Case for Robotics-Aided Surgery (July 2021)

  • Improving Healthcare Outcomes by Addressing Access and Equity Through the lens of Maternal Child Health (June 2021)

Partners

• Dignity Health – Dominican Hospital

• Central California Alliance for Health

• The Jon E. Nadherny/Calciano Memorial Youth Symposium

“I'm very impressed with the organization of the program. The speakers are engaging and so very knowledgeable. Thank you for this great program.”

-CME event participant

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HealthySteps

HealthySteps is a national, evidence-based, interdisciplinary pediatric primary care program designed to ensure families have the strongest foundation possible by promoting nurturing parenting and healthy development for babies and toddlers, so they are prepared for school and for life. 

HIP supports Salud Para La Gente and Santa Cruz Community Health by optimizing implementation of HealthySteps, in partnership with Thrive By Three of Santa Cruz County.

2021-22 Achievements

  • Initiated and implemented a Trauma-Informed/Motivational Interviewing Training for staff

  • Developed a Billing Codes document effectively expediting increased revenue

  • Convened 4 peer-to-peer clinical meetings for care teams to share and collaborate on best practices

  • Facilitated clinic staff attendance at the HealthySteps ZERO TO THREE Annual Conference for extended, deeper learning 

“As a pediatric patient coach, we directly and indirectly affect patients in so many ways. I particularly enjoy serving families who need translation services (Mixteco). Primarily, for this population we make them feel welcomed and comfortable when we are ready to screen their child and have someone that speaks their language. Parents have shared that they feel a sense of “belonging” at our developmental screening room because we explain processes and share resources, assessment results in  their language” 
—Ana

Meetings by Program

Hepatitis C Care Cascade

Internal Meetings

25

External Meetings

15

Uniting SCHIO, WIC

Internal Meetings

24

External Meetings

12

CME

Internal Meetings

50

External Meetings

24

HealthySteps

Internal Meetings

7

External Meetings

13

PEDs

Internal Meetings

0

External Meetings

42

SafeRx

Internal Meetings

136

External Meetings

54

Workforce

Internal Meetings

12

External Meetings

23

CRC

Internal Meetings

12

External Meetings

23

Total Internal Meetings: 290    |    Total External Meetings: 216

2021-2022 Fiscal Year Financial Report

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*HIP's financial calendar starts July 1 and ends June 30

HIP would like to acknowledge the effort and dedication of the following individuals who contributed to HIP's programs, events, and successful outcomes this past year

Elisa Orona
Executive Director

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Justin Medrano
Program Coordinator

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Melanie Lopez
Intern

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2022 ANNUAL REPORT