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 – are in need of additional
dental care and mental health support. To provide assistance to its northern
neighbors, Torrance Memorial 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 for-profit 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,” said
Claire Coignard, director of Health Education at Torrance Memorial Medical
Center. “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 continued,
“I like to call this ‘a warm hand-off’ 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 to obtain.
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.