A recent community needs assessment revealed children and adults living
in the Centinela Valley—Inglewood, Hawthorne, Lennox, Los Angeles,
El Segundo, Watts, Compton and Lawndale—were in need of additional
dental care and mental health support. To provide assistance to our northern
neighbors, Torrance Memorial Medical Center recently applied for and received
a $500,000 California Community Foundation (CCF) grant, gifted from the
Centinela Valley Medical and Community Fund.
The fund was established by a more than $50 million trust created from
the sale of Centinela Hospital Medical Center to a forprofit corporation.
It’s designed to promote and improve the health and quality of life
of children and adults throughout the Centinela Valley.
“A key component is the utilization of a case manager,” says
Claire Coignard, director of Health Education at Torrance Memorial. “This
means once someone’s needs are identified, the referral information
is provided and the individual is introduced to a physician, dentist,
or mental health specialist.” She continues, “I like to call
this ‘a warm handoff ’ because the case manager engages as
a support system for the individual, helping to guide them to the appropriate
provider of care.”
According to Coignard, the grant will expand access to timely, affordable
and high-quality health care and health promotion services—something
many in the community have had challenges obtaining.
Over the next two years Torrance Memorial will partner with South Bay Children’s
Health Center (SBCHC) to identify community health needs, as well as educate
the community on the dental, mental health and medical resources available
to them, linking residents with a medical and dental home. In addition,
the grant will expand Healthy Ever After, a school-based nutrition program
sponsored by Torrance Memorial’s Lundquist Cardiovascular Institute
that teaches elementary school children about making better food choices
and enlightens them on healthy lifestyles. It will also provide education
about Affordable Care Act insurance coverage.