Golden Valley Health Centers to Expand Telehealth Services Amid COVID-19
Grant funding from Health Net will provide vital resources to the Central Valley’s local safety-net clinics
(Merced, CA)— As COVID-19 has severely impacted access to quality health care throughout California, Golden Valley Health Centers (GVHC) announced today it was expanding its telehealth practices and services after receiving a $120,000 grant from Health Net, LLC.
GVHC clinics provide critical care for some of the most vulnerable and underserved Medi-Cal populations in the Central Valley and rural regions. By implementing more telehealth – including video chats and telephone consultations – into operations, GVHC helps ensure patients access to preventative and critical care. As social distancing guidelines continue, adopting more telehealth services protects both patients and heath care workers and care givers.
This crucial investment in GVHC’s telehealth and telephonic services will improve safe, timely access and specialty care to more than 150,000 patients and throughout the 42+ centers operated in Merced, Stanislaus & San Joaquin counties. Health Net’s grant will be used to invest in maintaining critical health care staff as clinics have suffered financial hardship, building out technological infrastructure for user friendly telehealth services and adopting new practices to better serve our communities and patients.
“Our partnership with Health Net, who uniquely understands the Medi-Cal population, and their recent telehealth grant will allow us to continue our mission in providing high-quality, primary health care services to the communities we serve,” said President and CEO Tony Weber, Golden Valley Health Centers. “We’re excited to expand and develop a tool that provides the needed access to our specialists while protecting the safety of our patients, and the safety of our health care providers.”
“As the novel coronavirus continues to spread and impact the region, it’s our job to help ensure our beneficiaries are provided flexible and convenient ways of accessing a range of health care providers, specialists and clinicians—including services in family medicine, behavioral health, pediatrics, women’s health and many others,” added Weber.
“As we continue to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic, access to telehealth and telemedicine services for our communities is more important than ever before,” said Stanislaus County Board Supervisor Kristin Olsen. “I want to applaud Health Net — their keen understanding of the complexities and nuances of caring for this population, coupled with this generous grant, will help ensure that our most vulnerable patients and residents will have needed access to vital health care services from the safety and comfort of their homes.”
“Telehealth is a vital resource in keeping Californians healthy and safe during this pandemic and will be crucial to expanding access in the future,” said Brian Ternan, President and CEO of Health Net of California and California Health and Wellness. “By investing in our local communities, Health Net is demonstrating our commitment to frontline providers by supporting and expanding telehealth services for those who need it most.”
Health Net is the largest and most-experienced Medi-Cal plan in California. In May 2020, Health Net announced it awarded 138 grants, totaling $13.4 million, to support the establishment and expansion of telehealth and telephonic services for California providers serving Medi-Cal members. This was the largest grant of cash dedicated to this cause by a health plan in California at the time.
This funding will also allow GVHC to continue in providing access to many of those who are uninsured, low-income and living below the poverty line in the Central Valley. While health care access has always been an issue in the rural areas of California, the problem has become worse since the COVID-19 pandemic and investments like these help local safety clinics obtain the support they need during uncertain times.
About Golden Valley Health Centers:
Golden Valley Health Centers is a private, non-profit federally qualified health center system that has served California’s Central Valley for over 48 years. GVHC is accredited by The Joint Commission and recognized as a Patient Centered Medical Home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. GVHC provides comprehensive primary medical, dental, behavioral health, health education and eligibility screening to a diverse population across Merced, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin Counties. GVHC currently has over 42 health centers and counting. GVHC’s mission is to improve the health of their patients by providing quality, primary health care services to people in the communities they serve regardless of language, financial or cultural barriers.