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Torrance Memorial Steps In To Give A Step Up

Torrance Memorial Steps In To Give A Step Up

It’s hard to imagine a more difficult childhood than living on the streets … or being a new mother faced with the possibility of homelessness. In the South Bay, Community’s Child—a nondenominational Christian program—has stepped in to help this vulnerable population.

Open to homeless adult mothers who have an infant younger than 12 months, Community’s Child helps women and their children get back on their feet in a structured living environment. The maximum stay in the residential living program is 18 months, and during that time women are expected to attend school, college or job-readiness programs to gain the skills necessary to provide for themselves and live self-sufficiently.

Although these women may have a temporary roof over their heads, access to medical care is another story. That’s where Torrance Memorial Medical Center is stepping in through its community benefit mission of providing services to those in need. Over the course of three health fairs, Torrance Memorial screened more than 80 children and their parents, according to Catherine Hargrove, manager of health education at the hospital.

The fairs, held at Calvary Assembly in Torrance, were exclusively for the families of Community’s Child and focused on concerns specific to the population. “We offered blood pressure checks to screen for high blood pressure; hemoglobin to screen for anemia; and if needed, hemoglobin A1c to screen for pre-diabetes or diabetes,” says Hargrove.

The onsite laboratory staff allowed rapid turnaround on all blood tests so members of the clinical team could discuss results with families right away. As it turned out, many of the children were anemic—and some pre-diabetic. Nurses explained the conditions to families and provided education on managing dietary and lifestyle changes.

No treatments were given, but children needing additional care were given information to contact physicians in the Torrance Memorial Physician Network. Nursing staff also provided weight, height, blood pressure and BMI measurements at the fairs.

Although it has just started, the partnership with Community’s Child is in-line with one of Torrance Memorial’s top priorities: to provide community access to quality health services. Because Community’s Child is a nonprofit, it relies on fundraising and partnerships to provide quality continuum of services for the many families in need of screenings and care. Hargrove hopes to continue the partnership well into the future.

Categories: Community,News

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