The Extra Step | Community Resource Center
In Los Angeles, a lot of our Hispanic community don't have insurance. They're underinsured or uninsured. They are low income or they don't know language. They have barriers that most people don't. If you do notice someone coming in and they fit that community, you're going to go a little extra step to get to know what their barriers are and ask them certain questions because they don't know the language or the system. Our mission is to live God's love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope. I believe the Community Resource Center embodies that mission not only through the services that we render, but also the customer service that we give.
Well, we get a lot of referrals from the emergency room and because a lot of the times they're discharged and they have no health insurance, so they don't know what are the follow up steps after that. But once they come through the doors of our Community Resource Center, we're able to offer that navigation and assistance that they need. We assist people with Medicare, Medi-Cal, so different types of health insurance assistance.
What I really love is that we address the social determinants of health. We do also have a partnership with MAOF, which is the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation. They offer a variety of services for our seniors, which includes transportation, information on low income housing and food assistance. So addressing those other areas that can impact the health of an individual.
We do have a senior wellness program, which is called Viva Bien, translate to Live Well, and some of the health education classes that we offer is mental health, diabetes, as well as heart health, among those, and we also, we have social events for the holidays, for example, for Christmas, Thanksgiving are some of the social gatherings that we have for our seniors. Some of the exercise classes that we offer is Zumba, strengthening and kickboxing, so it's pretty unbelievable to see that some of these seniors are like 70 and older doing kickboxing. Even some of our own physicians have seen the impact that it has on the health outcome of their patients. For example, one of our endocrinologists shared that the A1C levels of her patients were lowering once they started to participate in the classes after we reopened, after COVID.
As a child of both immigrant parents, I grew up going with my parents to their doctor's appointments, translating what the doctor was saying, and sometimes you have to understand where the patient is coming from in order to really effectively render any services. So our entire staff, I'm proud to say, is bilingual. Pretty much the requirements of working with our population is to be bilingual because you will understand your patients more if you're able to understand not only the language, but also some of the nuances of their culture, which is translated through language as well.
I identify with this community because I'm Hispanic and my first language was Spanish. Also, I come from parents who came here as immigrants, so I'm able to identify with them because when my parents first came here, they didn't really know where to access resources. So now I am offering that assistance to the community that I wish would've been offered to my parents when they first came here.
All of us look at people coming in as family. If one of our family members came in and needing some type of transportation, let's say, to get to their doctor's appointment or is worried about where they're going to get their next meal, we do everything in our power to help them. And when you treat someone, you're treating the whole person, not just their body, but their mind, their emotion, and their spiritual side as well.