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June 10, 2021 0

Mendocino County Public Health is pleased to announce the launch of a COVID-19 Vaccine Promotion campaign that includes one music video in Spanish and ten Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in English, Spanish, and multiple other languages. A joint venture was formed between Mendocino County Public Health and the Mendocino DEI COVID-19 Equity Work Group to reach traditionally underserved communities through elevating the voices of leaders in their community.

The beautiful recreation of the renowned Mexican Ranchera song Volver Volver, written in 1972 by Fernando Z. Maldonado and made famous by Vincente Fernández in 1978, is sung by local artist Irma López, a professional entertainer who has performed everywhere from Los Angeles to Reno and beyond. The lyrics have been changed to implore people to get vaccinated so that we can return to enjoying each other’s presence again. The song showcases the beauty of the Mexican culture along with the splendor of Mendocino County.

The campaign is presented by the Mendocino DEI COVID-19 Equity Workgroup, produced by members of the community with production support and guidance from Fuller Video Productions. The campaign is sponsored by Mendocino County Public Health and supported by Alliance for Rural Community Health and Nuestra Alianza de Willits.

The idea for this campaign arose from members of the Mendocino Diversity Equity Inclusion Taskforce, an independent task force that seeks to stamp out racism in all its forms in our county. According to the campaign writer, pediatric nurse practitioner Medie Parrott, “These videos provide information about the importance of vaccination, but the larger message is this: solidarity in diversity. The PSAs feature participants that are diverse in multiple ways and include voices that are important but not always heard. They are presented in a positive and empathetic manner, acknowledging the lived experiences of some black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC)”.

Other available videos include:

  • COVID-19 Vaccine PSA by Mendocino Healthcare Professionals:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7wNmIDDgVk  [English with Spanish subtitles]
  • COVID-19 Vaccine PSA by Mendocino Community Multi-Ethnic Influencers:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq6D3L4d8ck  [English with Spanish subtitles]
  • ¿Por qué me vacuné? Anuncio de servicio público de la vacuna COVID-19 en español (enfermera):  https://youtu.be/k9BXirFEcB0  [English with Spanish subtitles]
  • ¿Por qué me vacuné? – Anuncio de servicio público de la vacuna COVID-19 en español (trabajador de salud):  https://youtu.be/X-scRcY-qqI
  • ¿Por qué me vacuné? Anuncio de servicio público de la vacuna COVID-19 en español (5 participantes):  https://youtu.be/YONLppk700s
  • Why I got Vaccinated – PSA in English for Mendocino Native Communities:  https://youtu.be/ofTigKBMEyA
  • Why I got Vaccinated – PSA in English (8 participants):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKq8hLycyeg
  • Why I got Vaccinated – PSA in English (3 participants):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcS1bC7j2hM
  • COVID-19 Vaccine PSA in English (medical doctor):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCLgkhTvihk

For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, testing, masking, and gatherings, contact the Mendocino County Public Health COVID-19 Call Center at (707) 472-2759 or visit our website at: mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus.

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May 13, 2021 0

Fort Bragg, CA – Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) is pleased to welcome the return of nurse practitioner Faith Simon to their pediatric team. Simon began her career as a pediatric provider more than 20 years ago, mentored by revered local pediatrician Dr. Bill Mahon. In 2011, Simon and the rest of the pediatric practice joined MCC. Now, after a few years away, Simon is pleased to return to Mendocino Coast Clinics where their philosophy of practices matches her own.

“I moved to the Mendocino Coast from Brooklyn. My young children went from riding the subway to receiving 4-H training on how to show a chicken at the county fair,” Simon explained. At that time, Simon was a new nurse practitioner, but she had already been a nurse for 20 years, working primarily in obstetrics and emergency care. Although she was ready for a change, she could not have known how deeply she would fall in love with her new community. She has been caring for patients here ever since.

“Now, I’m supporting new parents who were my patients when they were children. It’s fun to see how their lives have evolved and to help them as they transition into and through parenthood,” she said.

Simon fashioned her style of practice after Dr. Mahon’s, one in which the provider is totally present in the moment and who talks directly to patients, regardless of their age. She said, “I get down to eye level and ask kids how they’re doing. Kids are so cool, and they will tell you a lot if you listen.”

Simon defines health broadly, recognizing the interdependence of physical, social, and emotional factors. When invited, she participates in her patients’ Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings through the schools and remains available to parents to help them with their child’s developmental and behavioral issues.

This integrated approach to health and wellness is part of why Simon is returning to Mendocino Coast Clinics. “My heart has always been with community clinics. It’s the right model for health care, a model that blends medical, behavioral, and dental care,” she said. “I’m looking forward to having more support for my patients at MCC, where they provide lactation education, nutrition consultations, psychotherapy, and more. And I’m especially pleased to be working there under Lucresha Renteria. She is a thoughtful, effective executive director who has the community’s best interests at heart.”

Simon noted that MCC’s strong relationships with community partners will also benefit her patients. When families face housing or food insecurity, their physical and emotional well-being suffer. MCC not only provides medical treatment, but also encourages its providers to refer patients to community partners who can help address the social determinants of health when appropriate.

Simon is deeply embedded in the community. She served as a board member for Safe Passage for more than a decade and currently participates in committees that advocate for child safety and health, including the Child Action Committee, a subcommittee of the Mendocino County Policy Council on Children and Youth, and on the Child Death Review Committee that reviews the circumstances when children pass away to identify and address any worrisome trends.

Simon begins seeing patients at MCC on May 19. She says she would like to work for several more years, and in that time, to help the current pediatric team recruit and mentor the next generation of providers. “Working with children every day is such a joyful way to spend life. I would like to share what I’ve learned and to make sure my patients and eventually their children continue to have the care they need and deserve here on the coast.”

Renteria said, “We’re so happy to have Faith back as part of the MCC family.”

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April 23, 2021 0

Mendocino County, CA – During the pandemic, local community health centers have spent untold, and often unpaid, hours testing and vaccinating their patients and other community members to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Thanks to federal funding, many of these organizations will be receiving some much-needed financial relief.

The American Rescue Plan Act provides one-time funding for a two-year period to support health centers funded under the Health Center Program “to prevent, mitigate, and respond to coronavirus disease 2019 and to enhance health care services and infrastructure,” according to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

In Mendocino County, the federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) funded by the Health Center Program include Anderson Valley Health Center in Boonville, Long Valley Health Center in Laytonville, MCHC Health Centers in Ukiah and Willits, Mendocino Coast Clinics in Fort Bragg, and Redwood Coast Medical Services in Gualala. FQHCs and affiliated rural health centers such as Baechtel Creek Medical Clinic in Willits serve about two-thirds of people in Mendocino County, providing everything from medical care to behavioral health services, dental care, and some specialty services.

These health centers are deeply embedded in the communities they serve, having fostered extensive networks and trusting relationships that allow them to reach even the most underserved populations. Some health centers work in partnership with other agencies to provide street medicine to those without stable homes. Many FQHCs have well-established relationships with local school districts to assist children in poverty. Still others work with agencies that support housing, food distribution, and other services to connect with patients who need health care.

Mendocino Coast Clinics Executive Director Lucresha Renteria explained that she and other local health center leaders did what they felt they must do to care for their communities and hoped financial reimbursement would follow. Happily for them, it has. MCC will receive $2.23m. Redwood Coast Medical Services will receive $1.33m. Long Valley Health Center and Anderson Valley Health Center received $971k and $940k respectively.

“We’ve continually put patients above revenues whenever there was a question of safety. For example, when we see patients via telehealth, we receive about 50 percent of our usual rate from Medicare for in-person care. But we shifted to telehealth, because it was safer for people to receive care from home, especially medically vulnerable patients,” she explained. Renteria gave example after example of additional costs resulting from the pandemic, from supplies to facility upgrades.

Usually, local health centers negotiate purchasing agreements so they can buy items in bulk at a lower cost. However, when the pandemic hit, shortages of gloves, masks, swabs, and other essentials required health centers to buy supplies from non-preferred vendors at non-preferred rates. Meanwhile, more intensive cleaning between patients slowed things down, leading to fewer patient visits. Health centers are paid on a per-visit basis. Also, health centers upgraded their facilities and purchased extra equipment to improve safety. At Mendocino Coast Clinics, they installed a $40,000 touchless door entry system and purchased special oral suction units in the Dental Department to reduce airborne particles.

One of the biggest unanticipated expenses involved COVID testing and vaccination. Some health centers received grant funding for testing, but they did not receive reimbursement for the staffing and supplies associated with the community vaccination clinics they provided. Testing and vaccination expenses included tent rentals for outdoor events, temporary signage, testing supplies, the cost of shipping tests to labs, and most significantly, the staff time to administer tests and vaccines and coordinate the logistics, from patient appointments to extensive data entry required by government databases. Chloe Guazzone, executive director of Anderson Valley Health Center, said, “CHCs in Mendocino County have tried hard to ensure that not a single person in Mendocino County has been left out when it comes to COVID testing, treatment and vaccination.”

Renteria agreed and added, “FQHCs throughout the county had to maintain primary care services while balancing the community need for testing and vaccinations. At MCC, we hired nurses to create a vaccination team. We also had to pull some employees off their regular duties to help with vaccine clinics.”

Some employees had to take leaves of absence to care for young children who were forced into distance learning from home when schools closed their campuses. The remaining employees took on additional duties, often requiring overtime, and supported one another as best they could.

Many community health centers collaborated with Mendocino County Public Health, especially when personal protective equipment and disinfectant wipes were scarce. At times, the County Medical Health Operational Area Coordination (MHOAC) Program was able to order essential supplies and provide them to medical facilities free of charge. Renteria said, “Partnering with Public Health to make sure testing and vaccinations were deployed countywide put us in the top five California counties for vaccine coverage.”

With this new funding, health centers can continue and expand essential health services. According to HRSA, the American Recovery Plan funds are to be used for the following purposes: (1) Plan, prepare for, promote, distribute, administer, and track COVID–19 vaccines, and carry out other vaccine-related activities; (2) Detect, diagnose, trace, and monitor COVID–19 infections and related activities necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID–19, including activities related to, and equipment or supplies purchased for, testing, contact tracing, surveillance, mitigation, and treatment of COVID-19; (3) Purchase equipment and supplies to conduct mobile testing or vaccinations for COVID–19, purchase and maintain mobile vehicles and equipment to conduct such testing or vaccinations, and hire and train laboratory personnel and other staff to conduct such mobile testing or vaccinations, particularly in medically underserved areas; (4) Establish, expand, and sustain the health care workforce to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID–19, and to carry out other health work force-related activities; (5) Modify, enhance, and expand health care services and infrastructure; and (6) Conduct community outreach and education activities related to COVID–19.

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March 31, 2021 0

Fort Bragg, CA – Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) se complace en dar la bienvenida a la Dra. Patti Chico, un médico de medicina familiar cuyo enfoque de la medicina “parece encajar perfectamente en nuestra comunidad costera,” según la directora ejecutiva de MCC, Lucresha Renteria.

La Dra. Chico se ve a sí misma como una curandera, lo que significa que es una entrenadora de salud y defensora del paciente tanto como una doctora, enfocada en las necesidades físicas y emocionales de los pacientes. Ella comprende que muchas personas se sienten desamparadas por el sistema de salud que consideran inflexible, impersonal y difícil de navegar. Estos desafíos a menudo se ven agravados por la raza, la clase, el género y la orientación sexual. Y cuando la atención no es culturalmente competente, aumenta el riesgo de malos resultados e incluso la muerte.

“Cuando las personas se sienten sin poder, es razonable que se desconecten. Quiero proporcionar una entrada de regreso al sistema de salud. Quiero ser su navegante y su animadora. Mi trabajo es brindarles información que puedan usar para tomar las mejores decisiones por sí mismos,” comentó la Dra. Eso a menudo significa proporcionar información a los pacientes y darles tiempo para considerar las cosas. En una industria donde la gente a menudo se siente presionada a tomar decisiones rápidas, la Dra. Chico ralentiza las cosas y les da a sus pacientes el espacio para pensar detenidamente. Con un enfoque colaborativo y respetuoso, su objetivo es ayudar a los pacientes a crear metas de salud que crean que pueden lograr.

“Estoy aquí para brindarles el apoyo que necesitan para sanar y cuidar la preciosa maquinaria que habitan: sus cuerpos. Mi objetivo es ayudarlos a idear un plan que sea factible para ellos. Es posible que necesitemos perfeccionar ese plan con el tiempo, y eso está bien. No estoy aquí para regañar o juzgar, sino para ayudarlos a tener éxito,” explicó. Ella espera poder colaborar con todos los pacientes y ofrecer a la comunidad de habla hispana un proveedor que se parezca a ellos y que hable su idioma. Después de todo, la investigación muestra que cuando un proveedor y un paciente comparten antecedentes comunes, los pacientes obtienen mejores resultados.

La Dra. Chico dice que siente afinidad por la gente de las comunidades rurales en general. “En las comunidades rurales donde he practicado, la gente tiende a ser resistente y trabajadora. Ellos hacen lo que pueden para cuidar de sí mismos y cuando necesitan ayuda, vienen a verme,” dijo. A ella le gusta la naturaleza independiente de la población rural y respeta su derecho a buscar atención cuando esté lista, aunque admite que cuanto antes es mejor, ya que ha visto muchos problemas en un estado severo que podrían haberse prevenido o al menos mitigado.

“Siempre les digo a mis pacientes que si vienen y resulta que no es nada, fue una buena decisión entrar. No deberían cargar con la carga de tratar de averiguar qué está pasando con sus cuerpos sobre ellos mismos. Podemos resolverlo juntos o al menos descartar cualquier cosa que necesite atención inmediata,” ella dijo.

La Dra. Chico ha trabajado exclusivamente en centros de salud con calificación federal (FQHC) como MCC durante los últimos ocho años. Antes de eso, eligió a propósito un programa de residencia con una clínica de continuidad FQHC porque sabía que quería trabajar hábilmente con una población de pacientes con problemas médicos y complejos sociales. En los cinco años transcurridos desde que se graduó de la escuela de medicina, ha trabajado en una variedad de entornos, tanto urbanos como rurales, y ha perfeccionado sus habilidades no solo en la gestión de un panel de pacientes ocupado, sino también en la construcción de una relación significativa con los pacientes. “Valoro el arte de curar, que va mucho más allá de la salud física,” ella dijo.

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MCC es un centro de salud calificado federalmente sin fines de lucro que brinda atención médica, dental y de salud conductual a los residentes de Westport a Elk y al interior de Comptche en el condado de Mendocino. www.mendocinocoastclinics.org

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March 31, 2021 0

Fort Bragg, CA – Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) is pleased to welcome Dr. Patti Chico, a family medicine physician whose approach to medicine “appears to be a perfect fit for our coastal community,” according to MCC Executive Director Lucresha Renteria.

Dr. Chico sees herself as a healer, which means she is a health coach and patient advocate as much as a doctor, focused on patients’ physical and emotional needs. She understands that many people feel disempowered by the healthcare system they have found to be inflexible, impersonal, and hard to navigate. These challenges are often exacerbated by race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. And when care is not culturally competent, the risk for bad outcomes and even death are increased.

“When people feel disempowered, it is reasonable for them to disengage. I want to provide an entryway back into the healthcare system. I want to be their navigator and their cheerleader. My job is to provide them with information they can use to make the best decisions for themselves,” she said. That often means providing patients with information and giving them time to consider things. In an industry where people often feel pressured to make quick decisions, Dr. Chico slows things down and gives her patients the space to think things through. Using a respectful, collaborative approach, her goal is to help patients create health goals they believe they can accomplish.

“I am here to provide them with the support they need to heal and care for the precious machinery they inhabit: their bodies. My goal is to help them come up with a plan that is achievable for them. We may need to hone that plan over time, and that is ok. I am not here to scold or judge but rather to help them find success,” she explained. She looks forward to partnering with all patients and offering the Spanish-speaking community a provider who both looks like them and speaks their language. After all, research shows that when a provider and patient share a common background, patients have better outcomes.

Dr. Chico says she feels an affinity for people in rural communities in general. “In the rural communities where I’ve practiced, people tend to be resilient and hard-working. They do what they can to take care of themselves and when they need help, they come and see me,” she said. She likes the independent nature of rural people and respects their right to seek care when they are ready, though she admits that sooner is usually better as she has seen many issues in a severe state that could have been prevented or at least mitigated.

“I always tell my patients that if they come in and it turns out to be nothing, it was still a good decision to come in. They should not place the burden of trying to figure out what’s going on with their bodies on themselves. We can figure it out together or at the very least rule out anything that needs immediate attention,” she said.

Dr. Chico has worked exclusively at federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) like MCC for the past eight years. Before that, she purposefully chose a residency program with an FQHC continuity clinic because she knew she wanted to work skillfully with a patient population with complex medical and social issues. In the five years since she graduated from medical school, she has worked in a variety of settings, both urban and rural, and has honed her skills not only in managing a busy patient panel, but also in building meaningful relationships with patients. “I value the art of healing, which goes well beyond physical health,” she said.

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MCC is a non-profit, federally qualified health center providing medical, dental and behavioral health care to residents from Westport to Elk and inland to Comptche in Mendocino County. www.mendocinocoastclinics.org

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March 25, 2021 0

Earlier this year, the Biden Administration announced a new partnership with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. A recent White House briefing reported that “given the critical role that these providers play in their communities, President Biden will launch a new program to ensure that FQHCs can directly access vaccine supply where needed. At the same time, the administration will encourage jurisdictions to engage and work closely with health centers in their community vaccination planning.”

In Mendocino County, FQHCs include community health centers such as Anderson Valley Health Center in Boonville, Long Valley Health Center in Laytonville, MCHC Health Centers in Ukiah and Willits, Mendocino Coast Clinics in Fort Bragg, and Redwood Coast Medical Services in Gualala. Nationally, FQHCs serve more than 30 million patients each year — one in 11 people nationwide. Locally, FQHCs and affiliated community health centers, such as Baechtel Creek Medical Clinic in Willits, serve about two-thirds of people in Mendocino County, providing everything from medical care to behavioral health services, dental care, and some specialty services.

During the pandemic, FQHCs have been a crucial resource in delivering COVID testing and vaccines because these community health centers have trusting relationships with patients throughout the county, including in the most remote parts of our county.

In partnership with Mendocino County Public Health and Adventist Health, local community health clinics have administered more than 20,000 vaccines to Mendocino County residents.

Mendocino Coast Clinics Executive Director Lucresha Renteria said, “As soon as we receive notice that vaccine doses are coming our way, we jump into action and schedule vaccination clinics in line with the county’s vaccine distribution plan. We often have very short notice, but that doesn’t stop us from doing everything we can to get as many people vaccinated as possible.”

The county’s vaccine distribution plan can be found online at mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccinations. The county is currently vaccinating people in the first two phases of the plan, which includes healthcare workers, people 65 and older, and people in essential job sectors such as education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture. In addition, people of any age with proof of the following medical conditions—those that increase vulnerability to COVID-19—are eligible for vaccination.

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease (stage 4)
  • Oxygen-dependent COPD
  • Diabetes (hemoglobin A1c > 7.5 percent)
  • Heart disease (heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy)
  • Immunocompromised state due to disease or medications
  • Pregnancy
  • Severe obesity (BMI > 40kg/m2)
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Physical or mental disabilities that increase risk of severe COVID or would cause problems caring for them if they contracted the virus.

The county’s access to vaccines is limited, and community health clinics can only distribute what they receive. Renteria is hopeful that with additional federal funding to increase vaccine production and distribution, local supplies will increase. Until then, she encourages people to continue to follow safety measures such as masking and social distancing.

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March 11, 2021 0

A press release from the Alliance for Rural Community Health.

Fort Bragg, CA – Earlier this year, the Biden Administration announced a new partnership with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. A recent White House briefing reported that “given the critical role that these providers play in their communities, President Biden will launch a new program to ensure that FQHCs can directly access vaccine supply where needed. At the same time, the administration will encourage jurisdictions to engage and work closely with health centers in their community vaccination planning.”

In Mendocino County, FQHCs include community health centers such as Anderson Valley Health Center in Boonville, Long Valley Health Center in Laytonville, MCHC Health Centers in Ukiah and Willits, Mendocino Coast Clinics in Fort Bragg, and Redwood Coast Medical Services in Gualala. Nationally, FQHCs serve more than 30 million patients each year — one in 11 people nationwide. Locally, FQHCs and affiliated community health centers such as Baechtel Creek Medical Clinic in Willits, serve about two-thirds of people in Mendocino County, providing everything from medical care to behavioral health services, dental care, and some specialty services.

During the pandemic, FQHCs have been a crucial resource in delivering COVID testing and vaccines because these community health centers have trusting relationships with patients throughout the county, including in the most remote parts of our county.

In partnership with Mendocino County Public Health and Adventist Health, local community health clinics have administered more than 20,000 vaccines to Mendocino County residents.

Mendocino Coast Clinics Executive Director Lucresha Renteria said, “As soon as we receive notice that vaccine doses are coming our way, we jump into action and schedule vaccination clinics in line with the County’s vaccine distribution plan. We often have very short notice, but that doesn’t stop us from doing everything we can to get as many people vaccinated as possible.”

The County’s vaccine distribution plan can be found online at mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccinations. The County is currently vaccinating people in the first two phases of the plan, which includes healthcare workers, people 65 and older, and people in essential job sectors such as education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture. In addition, people of any age with proof of the following medical conditions—those that increase vulnerability to COVID-19—are eligible for vaccination.

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease (stage 4)
  • Oxygen-dependent COPD
  • Diabetes (hemoglobin A1c > 7.5%)
  • Heart disease (heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy)
  • Immunocompromised state due to disease or medications
  • Pregnancy
  • Severe obesity (BMI > 40kg/m2)
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Physical or mental disabilities that increase risk of severe COVID or would cause problems caring for them if they contracted the virus.

The County’s access to vaccines is limited, and community health clinics can only distribute what they receive. Renteria is hopeful that with additional federal funding to increase vaccine production and distribution, local supplies will increase. Until then, she encourages people to continue to follow safety measures such as masking and social distancing.

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Alliance for Rural Community Health (ARCH) is a collaboration of six community health centers in Mendocino County, California. Our purpose is to develop and expand collaborative ways of addressing community health care issues in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Learn more at ruralcommunityhealth.org.

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February 25, 2021 0

Fort Bragg, CA – On Friday night, February 19, Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) Executive Director Lucresha Renteria received a call offering 800 extra doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The MCC staff had just completed a vaccine event giving 211 Pfizer vaccines and despite the late hour and short notice, Renteria said yes.  The planning process started and calls were made on Saturday to businesses in the approved tiers and community members eligible for the vaccine. This has been the story since the beginning of the pandemic: because MCC has the relationships and infrastructure to serve coastal residents quickly, MCC is called upon to get the job done.

“I am happy we can do it,” Renteria said. “That’s why we’re here, to serve our community. Of course, it would be nice if we could get a little more advance notice, but that’s the nature of the situation–everything is changing constantly.”

This week, MCC is holding four vaccine clinics; the only day MCC is not vaccinating at some level is Thursday. The clinics on Tuesday and on Friday are the large 400 vaccine events. The target for these events are for the following groups: people aged 65 years and older, emergency medical responders, school and childcare staff, food workers and agricultural workers. Specifically, this includes those directly involved in growing, harvesting, production, preparing, selling, cooking and serving food products as well as cannabis and lumber. Appointments are needed for the vaccine clinics; you can call (707)964-1251 to be put on a waiting list if no appointments are available at the time you call. “We know what we have for this week but we still don’t know about next week”, Renteria said.

Since people began receiving vaccines in Mendocino County, COVID-19 cases have begun to drop countywide, but medical professionals encourage everyone to remain vigilant. MCC Medical Director Dr. Lawrence Goldyn said, “We still need to keep wearing masks in public, maintain our physical distancing and wash our hands frequently.”

MCC also continues to provide free, drive-through surveillance testing every Wednesday morning and Thursday afternoon by appointment. Those interested can call (707) 964-1251 to schedule a test. Recipients need not be MCC patients. Mendocino County Public Health is also providing surveillance testing every Tuesday on the coast via their mobile OptumServe testing team. For details and to register, visit lhi.care/covidtesting. For more information, call the Mendocino County COVID Call Center at (707) 472-2759 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

As a reminder, when people test positive for COVID-19, they are required to isolate at home for 10 days or until their symptoms are resolved, whichever is longer. Members of their household along with other close contacts must quarantine for 14 days. For the latest Mendocino County coronavirus updates, visit www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus.

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January 27, 2021 0

In partnership with Mendocino County Public Health and Adventist Health, local community health clinics have vaccinated more than 2,400 Mendocino County residents. In Boonville, Anderson Valley Health Center vaccinated 570 people. In Willits, Baechtel Creek Medical Clinic vaccinated 30, representing all the vaccine they received from the County. In North County, Long Valley Health Center vaccinated 220. On the coast, Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) vaccinated 675 people and Redwood Coast Medical Services vaccinated 905.

“Despite scarcity of the vaccine, once the county has provided it, the clinics have mobilized to get their communities vaccinated,” said MCC Executive Director Lucresha Renteria.

Community health centers are well-positioned to connect with the people first in line for the vaccine and have been following County guidance to this effect. The County’s vaccine distribution plan can be found at www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus/covid-19-vaccinations. The phased approach gives preference to healthcare workers, people 75 and older, and people in essential job sectors such as education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture.

The County’s access to both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is limited, and community health clinics can only distribute what they receive. Renteria is hopeful that with additional federal funding to increase vaccine production and distribution, local supplies will increase. Until then, she encourages people to continue to follow safety measures such as masking and social distancing.

Another way to limit the spread of COVID-19 is continued surveillance testing, available countywide from private healthcare providers, community health clinics, and Public Health. Testing is available at no charge on the coast by appointment at MCC and through OptumServe on Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m.to 5:00 p.m. at the Veterans’ Hall at 360 N. Harrison Street in Fort Bragg where tests are first come, first serve. Inland free testing is available daily from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. through OptumServe at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds located at 1055 N. State Street in Ukiah. For OptumServe testing, people should register online at lhi.care/covidtesting before arriving to get a Patient ID Number.

For more information, call the Mendocino County COVID Call Center at (707) 472-2759 Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Alliance for Rural Community Health (ARCH) is a collaboration of six community health centers in Mendocino County, California. Our purpose is to develop and expand collaborative ways of addressing community health care issues in a cost-effective and efficient manner. Learn more at ruralcommunityhealth.org.

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December 2, 2020 0

Fort Bragg, CA – El sábado 21 de noviembre, Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) colaboraró con el Departamento de Salud Pública del Condado de Mendocino para realizar pruebas de COVID-19 a más de 210 personas para determinar el alcance de la propagación del virus después de un brote que fue autoinformado por Noyo Harbor Inn en Fort Bragg. Debido a que las pruebas de vigilancia no están disponibles actualmente en la costa, muchos residentes costeros aprovecharon la oportunidad de hacerse la prueba, lo que llevó a la necesidad de que el Departamento de Policía de Fort Bragg proporcione control de tráfico. Gracias a estos servidores de la comunidad por intervenir cuando fue necesario.

La directora ejecutiva de MCC, Lucresha Rentería, agradeció a los miembros de la comunidad por su paciencia, mientras las líneas llegaban a N. Harbor Drive. “Pudimos realizarle pruebas a una gran cantidad de personas, en gran parte porque todos mantuvieron la calma y siguieron las instrucciones. Dado que se trataba de una prueba de brotes, no se hizo con cita previa, lo que significa que tuvimos que registrar y evaluar a las personas ese día y eso lleva un poco más de tiempo “, dijo.  Cuando MCC recibió la confirmación de que la Salud Pública del Condado de Mendocino pudo proporcionar los equipos de prueba y el equipo de registro necesarios, además de la publicación en Facebook de la Salud Pública del Condado de Mendocino, MCC trabajó para publicitar el evento de prueba. “Solo teníamos un día de anticipación. Lo publicamos en las redes sociales y Joe Regelski de KOZT lo anunció como solo él puede “, dijo Rentería. “Y todo salió bien. Nunca hemos realizado tantas pruebas  en un día “.

Con el aumento de los casos de COVID-19 en todo el condado, es especialmente importante que las personas sigan cumpliendo con las precauciones de seguridad, como el uso de mascarillas y el distanciamiento físico, explicó Rentería. Cuando las personas dan positivo en la prueba de COVID-19, deben aislarse en casa durante 10 días o hasta que se resuelvan sus síntomas, lo que sea más largo. Los miembros de su hogar deben estar en cuarentena durante 14 días. Dado que los miembros de la familia potencialmente nunca son evaluados, es probable que el número de casos activos esté subestimado.

Rentería dijo: “Según una publicación reciente en las redes sociales del vicealcalde del Ayuntamiento de Fort Bragg Bernie Norvell, un recuento reciente mostró que teníamos 17 casos activos en la costa norte y otros 30 posibles positivos en cuarentena en el código postal 95437 de Fort Bragg. Durante mucho tiempo, no vimos muchos casos a nivel local, pero eso ha cambiado “, dijo Rentería. Tiene la esperanza de que, sabiendo que hay una vacuna en el horizonte, la gente luchará contra la fatiga por COVID y mantendrá prácticas seguras durante todo el invierno.

Aunque MCC ya no proporciona pruebas de vigilancia para aquellos que no tienen síntomas, pero si proporciona pruebas de COVID-19 para personas sintomáticas. Las personas que no presentan síntomas necesitan una prueba de PCR. Las personas con síntomas pueden recibir una prueba de antígeno que busca una proteína del virus. Es importante hacerse el tipo de prueba correcto. Si las personas son asintomáticas y si obtienen una prueba de antígeno, pueden obtener un resultado falso negativo, lo que proporciona una sensación de seguridad que puede ser inexacta.

Salud Pública está trabajando actualmente para proporcionar un equipo móvil para realizar pruebas de vigilancia de COVID-19 en todo el condado, asociándose con las comunidades locales para encontrar un espacio donde se puedan realizar las pruebas. Para obtener las últimas actualizaciones sobre el coronavirus de Salud Pública del Condado de Mendocino, visite www.mendocinocounty.org/community/novel-coronavirus. Para programar una cita médica en MCC, llame al (707) 964-1251.

Copyright by Mendocino Coast Clinics. All rights reserved. This Health Center receives HHS funding and has Federal PHS deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals. This Health Center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 245b, and deemed a Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233 (g)-(n). Any claim filed against MCC must be done in federal court.

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