In this webinar, two Vaccine Plus – Community Health and Power grant partners, La Casita Center and the Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition, joined by Dr. Alicia Chang (Regional Health Officer of the East and South Bay Regions of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health), share key lessons from their COVID response efforts and reflect on how community-based organizations can improve collaboration with public health institutions.
The “Return to Normal”: Applying Lessons from COVID Response Efforts to Ongoing Public Health Emergencies
from Rx Foundation’s Power is a Social Determinant of Health series
Session description: As public health emergency declarations ‘wind down’ nationwide and barriers to care proliferate, how can community-led health initiatives and community-based organizations use what they learned in the pandemic to address ongoing health crises and expand equitable access to care?
Join us for a spirited panel discussion featuring two of the Rx Foundation’s Vaccine Plus – Community Health and Power grant partners: La Casita Center (Louisville, KY) and the Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition, as well as Dr. Alicia Chang, the Regional Health Officer of the East and South Bay Regions of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Moderated by our Rx Foundation Trustee and Medical Director of Los Angeles County’s Housing for Health program, Dr. Heidi Behforouz, we will weigh two overarching questions, (1) how can we begin to integrate lessons learned from our COVID response efforts to work on other ongoing public health crises like mental health, opioid overdoses, racial inequities in health, and gun violence? and (2) what collective actions can we take to improve our collaboration with public health institutions on these pressing health inequities?
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Dr. Patricia Bautista-Cervera (she/her), La Casita Center
Dr. Bautista-Cervera is a pediatrician and pediatric allergist with a Master of Public Health. She joined La Casita Center (LCC) in 2019, an organization dedicated to enhancing the wellbeing of Louisville’s Latinx and immigrant community. As the Health Empowerment Coordinator, Dr. Bautista-Cervera works to promote health through workshops, informational videos, one-on-one communications, and other various means.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Bautista-Cervera delivered important information to the Spanish-speaking community through the online video series: “Consejos de Salud con la Dra. Paty.” She also was instrumental for LCC to develop virtual forums with stores and restaurants to educate the Hispanic community about the virus and promote preventive measures and vaccination. During 2020 alone, Dr. Bautista-Cervera supported 994 COVID-19 positive patients, offering medical guidance and, through an empowering model, connecting them to LCC’s wrap-around services and other resources in the community.
In August 2023, Dr. Bautista-Cervera was honored as one of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky’s 2022 Healthy Kentucky Champions.
Dr. Heidi Behforouz (she/her), Rx Foundation Trustee and Medical Director of Los Angeles County’s Housing for Health program
Dr. Heidi Behforouz is a physician leader, consultant, and clinician, who has focused her career on the health issues of vulnerable populations. As the Medical Director of Housing for Health (HFH) — the second-largest safety net provider in the United States — she oversees LA county’s clinical initiatives to improve the health and wellness of the largest homeless population in the country. At LAC DHS, she has also served as the Medical Director for the Care Connection Program, a primary care clinic-anchored complex care management program that connected community health workers to care management teams within the medical home. She also led the Primary Care Resource Center’s efforts to enhance complex care management team efforts in the medical homes and launch a shared care management platform to facilitate shared work plans and communication between PCMH staff. A board-certified internist who trained at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, she currently practices primary care at the STAR clinic in Skid Row, Los Angeles. She is Founder and past Executive Director of Partners In Health’s Prevention and Access to Care and Treatment (PACT) project in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Behforouz is committed to the transformation of primary care to better serve the needs of the most vulnerable patients in our communities and has been privileged to champion the role of community health workers in effecting lasting change in our health care delivery system and health of our communities.
Dr. Alicia Chang (she/her), Regional Health Officer of the East and South Bay Regions of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Yvonka Hall (she/her), Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition
Yvonka M. Hall, MPA is a prominent community leader in Cleveland and serves on numerous boards and committees. She is currently Executive Director at Northeast Ohio Black Health Coalition. She holds a BA in Political Science from Notre Dame College and an MPA from Texas Southern University.
Recently, she was recognized by the both the Ohio Senate and House and the United States Congress for her work in the African-American community. During the 2016 primary Yvonka served as a field organizer for the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign and is an elected officials representing Cleveland Ward 1 Precinct N for the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party.
The 1974 murder of her mother Yvonne Boston Hall dramatically changed her life; her childhood promise to use her life to help others has lead to the creation of cutting edge programs and impacted thousands of people’s lives.
She is a proud graduate of John Marshall High School in Cleveland, Ohio and a 2019 inductee into the Alumni Hall of Fame. She was recently named a Black Woman Green Future Honoree for her environmental justice work. Last year the Cleveland Plain Dealer named her the HomeGrown Hero for her work addressing food insecurity. The National Association of Social Workers Ohio Chapter recently named her the Region 3 Community Member of the Year. In 2021 she was named 100 Women to Know in America.
She is a mother, grandmother deeply impassioned and involved in social justice activities locally and nationally for three decades. Her efforts will save many children from the lifelong impact of lead poisoning.
She is an activist, leader, influencer, humanitarian, speaker, researcher and philanthropist.
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