CHILDREN’S HEALTH: Groups Launch Access Project In Southern California
A coalition of health care organizations and public schools in Southern California is launching a program to help families obtain health care coverage for their uninsured children. The National Health Foundation, the Healthcare Association of Southern California, the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Los Angeles County Office of Education and the Los Angeles County Departments of Public Social Services and Health Services are collaborating on the Children's Health Access and Medi-Cal Program (CHAMP), which attempts to link children who need health care insurance to appropriate health care programs. The project uses schools, hospitals and community volunteers to improve access to such programs as Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, Kaiser Permanente Cares for Kids and California Kids. CHAMP functions as a "train the trainer" volunteer-based program, directing volunteers to meet at sites designated by the school districts to educate families about available health programs and to assist them with the application process.
Kaiser Permanente is providing $150,000 for the program. The grant will support development of training materials and help launch the program at four sites in Los Angeles County and one site in Orange County. Further funding is being sought from local partners in order to fully implement CHAMP at 28 sites across six California counties. "CHAMP will provide a great service to Southern California's uninsured and under-insured children and their parents," said Leland Wong, director of government and community relations for Kaiser Permanente, California (CHAMP release, 3/23).