Centering Black Women’s Leadership and Experiences
Op-ed by Dana Sherrod, MPH

Last week, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations, advocates, and policymakers across the nation were virtually celebrating the third-annual Black Maternal Health Week (April 11–17) and deepening the conversation about black maternal health in the U.S. While progress has been made, data shows that black mothers and their babies disproportionately experience higher rates of adverse birth outcomes compared to other groups.


Filling Employee Needs Boosts Coronavirus Fight


Finding innovative solutions to support employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital is partnering with Sodexo to launch an in-house grocery delivery service – and is moving to the widespread use of iPads to connect patients with staff and family members.

HASC’s Communities Lifting Communities community health initiative regularly shares stories on innovative solutions to challenges that face member hospitals and their neighbors. To submit a story, contact CLC executive director Susan Harrington (below). While not every story can be developed into a feature, all will be carefully reviewed and considered.  

This month USC Verdugo, in partnership with the food services provider, launched an in-house grocery delivery system. Employees can place grocery orders for staple items such as milk, eggs, fruits/vegetables, and frozen items twice a week. Employees pick up their ordered items in the hospital’s cafeteria and can pay with a credit card, cash, or payroll deduction. The program was piloted with 10 people recently, and the first week of operation it had 25 orders.


Cherished Futures for Black Moms & Babies Begins With Deep Discussions

Close to 70 attendees joined HASC President/CEO George W. Greene, Communities Lifting Communities (CLC) Executive Director Susan Harrington and a slate of expert speakers at the Jan. 24 launch of  Cherished Futures for Black Moms & Babies. 

Held at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles, the event went beyond a ceremonial kickoff with deep discussion on the issues impacting African-American moms that create significant contrasts in maternal and birth outcomes across color lines.

Dr. Deborah Allen of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health outlined the social and cultural influences that hit communities of color that can produce elevated infant mortality and other negative health outcomes for moms and babies.


How Trauma-Informed Care is Helping the Pasadena Community

Huntington Hospital is partnering with its Pasadena neighbors—Young & Healthy and the Pasadena Unified School District—to spearhead Trauma-Informed Care, a program designed to address the impact trauma (both physical and emotional) has on the community’s well-being and healthcare in general.

Trauma-Informed Care is an approach that involves understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. It emphasizes physical, psychological and emotional safety for both patients and providers, and helps survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.


Collaborative Community Partnerships Help Providers Find Innovative Ways to Better Serve Homeless Patients

In many communities, hospitals are the only place where individuals experiencing homelessness can receive medical care. As California hospitals contend with the dramatic growth in homeless patients,
they must comply with a new state law (SB 1152) implemented in January
2019, which requires them to provide homeless patients a meal, clothing and vaccine screenings prior to discharge. Hospitals must also try to find homeless patients a bed at a safe destination, offer transportation and document the steps they have taken to do so.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital’s “Recipe for Health” Program Offers an Rx for Food Insecurity

Diabetes, heart disease and obesity are the top three health challenges facing adult residents of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital’s service area. But there’s another, non-medical factor that also negatively impacts the health and wellbeing of many who live in the South Los Angeles community and can aggravate the severity of their chronic medical conditions – food insecurity.


CLC’s Diabetes Prevention and Food Security Initiative Focuses on Addressing the Disease and Its Social Determinants in Ventura County

For the 84 million Americans —that’s 1 in 3 adults—who have prediabetes, most do not even know that they have it. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, greatly elevating the risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Prediabetes, however, can be reversed and presents a tremendous opportunity for prevention efforts. If caught early, simple lifestyle changes such as losing weight if you’re overweight, eating healthier, and exercise can have lasting results.

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Hospital Food Recovery Programs
Focus on Food Waste Problem While Helping the Needy

A number of Southern California hospitals are taking action to help solve America’s food waste problem by offering food recovery programs that assist the needy and impoverished.

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Cottage Health Recuperative Care Program Offers Healing, Housing and Hope to Patients Experiencing Homelessness

As some of the most vulnerable members of the community, patients experiencing homelessness are at risk of poorer health outcomes and often lack access to basic support in recovering from illness or injury.

Cottage Health, a not-for-profit system serving Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties, in partnership with PATH Santa Barbara, is seeking to address basic needs of these fragile patients through
the Cottage Recuperative Care Program. Launched as a pilot program with four beds in fall 2018 and fully implemented with 10 beds at the beginning

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CLC Launches Leadership Training Series

Close to 40 HASC hospital and system members and public health officials attended the inaugural launch of Communities Lifting Communities (CLC) in partnership with the Public Health Institute regional training, Alignment of Governance & Leadership in Healthcare: Building Momentum for Transformation, this month. The free half-day training was held twice — on June 7 at Kaiser Moreno Valley and June 11 at Mission Hospital Laguna Beach.

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Busy Month for CLC’s Public Health Mission

HASC’s Communities Lifting Communities (CLC) initiative had a productive May, focusing on solutions to regional health disparities. On May 14, CLC — with HASC and the Public Health Alliance of Southern California — met with Los Angeles County health leaders to identify interventions aimed at birth-outcomes improvement.

Karen Ochoa
(213) 538-0765
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CLC Hosts a Webinar Forum
Update on Edible Food Waste and Recovery Draft Regulations

On Jan. 30 CLC, hosted a complimentary webcast for 50 participants for hospitals, health systems, public health departments and community based organizations to learn learn more about food waste, edible food recovery, and the important role of hospital and health care facilities.