STOREFRONT CLINICS: Volunteers Unite To Educate Community
A group of community and health care activists are coming together to educate the public on the dangers of unlicensed medical care following the discovery of numerous storefront medical clinics in the Santa Ana area. The clinics came to light following the death of a toddler who received care at one of the illegal clinics. The Santa Ana police have been closing down illegal clinics when they find them, but community leaders said that residents must also be warned about the dangers of unregulated care. The Santa Ana Safe Medicine Coalition is "distributing posters and fliers telling residents to accept prescriptions and medications only from licensed pharmacists and doctors," the Los Angeles Times reports. Coalition spokesperson Felicia Helf said, "Just going out to get the bad guys wasn't enough. We really needed to educate people." Dr. Mary Watson, executive director of Free Health Plan, the coalition's lead agency, said, "It's time for the health community of Santa Ana to inform the people how to purchase their medications." In addition to warning people about the dangers of unlicensed care, the coalition hopes to provide education about "clinics such as Free Health Plan or how to get Medi-Cal or other low-cost coverage." Other coalition members include the "UCI Family Health Center, the Orange County Health Care Agency, the Coalition for Health Education, Latino Health Access, the Wellness Initiative of Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph Hospital and St. Jude Medical Center" (Carney, 9/14). Click here for further California Healthline coverage of this issue.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.