Since 2002, Street Level Health has responded to the specialized needs of a community who is 93% foreign-born with almost half (43%) having resided in the U.S. for less than three years. Known to many as the “safety net of the safety net”, our Health Access Program (HAP) is a critical entry point in the health care and social service system for a marginalized population excluded from the Affordable Care Act; as well as working poor who are unable to afford Covered California and have incomes that exceed the eligibility requirements for public benefits (138% – 200% FPL [Federal Poverty Line] FPL for a single person is $16,395).
Over the years the HAP has supported thousands of low to no-income adults in a geographic area of Oakland (zip codes 94601 and 94606) where census data reports 48% of households live below the federal poverty levels and 16,000 adults live at risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Many of our community members face a multitude of barriers to health care that include: issues related to language and literacy skills, legal status, unemployment, and lost work opportunities due to long wait times at Federally Qualified Health Centers.
Through a Whole Person Care Model, the Health Access Program supports clients in reducing their incidence of preventable malnutrition and chronic illness by providing free twice weekly: health screenings and integrative episodic care, drop-in health navigation supports, and on-site health enrollment. Our integrative approach provides patient centered wrap around services which include behavioral health, nutrition consultations, and social services that promote access to effective efficient resources which improve health outcomes for the most vulnerable in Alameda County.
Health Access Program clients access same day semi-comprehensive care across multiple languages to addresses both acute and chronic illnesses. Health navigators partner with an extensive network of health providers to assist patients with serious conditions in accessing specialty and follow up care. Additionally, in coordination with Alameda County Health Services, health navigators leverage clinic visits as opportunities to encourage on-site health enrollment that increases access to primary care and establishes long-term health maintenance practices.
Part treatment, part prevention, the Health Access Program acknowledges the role of employment in maintaining health and mitigating illness among low-wage workers living at the intersections of poverty, malnutrition, chronic illness and homelessness. In response, HAP utilizes a comprehensive outreach service to target Day Laborers at 6 hiring stops, 3 times per week with prevention services that include critical employment and occupational health education. Each session consists of Mam language interpretation for non-Spanish speakers and pairs Employment Specialists with Community Health Workers (CHW’s) to address a variety of health concerns among men ages 16-55. CHW’s collaborate with a Licensed Nutritionist to implement a Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) framework and adapt the Social Context Model to distribute a nutritious breakfast, deliver nutrition education, and provide a twice weekly on-site lunch service during clinic hours to encourage low to no-income clients to access a nutritious meal.
Our efforts are only as strong as our volunteers! We encourage health providers interested in healthcare for the underserved to contact us here.