William Walker, MD
Contra Costa Health Services
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Read more about changes to Basic Health Care.
Starting June 1, Contra Costa Health Services will begin to transfer adults who are not legal residents from our Basic Health Care program to community clinics.
I'm Dr. William Walker, Director of Contra Costa Health Services, and I want to talk to you about how people can find out more about how this transition affects them and where to get help.
Let me say first that I wish we didn't have to do this. Adults who are not legal residents play an important role in our communities. They are neighbors, service workers, parents and friends. As the County Health Officer, their continued good health is important to me.
Transferring the responsibility for their care was approved by the Board of Supervisors to save money during the County's budget crisis. I hope by making a smooth transition to the excellent community clinics we have in Contra Costa, we can also save lives.
My staff has been working very closely with community clinic staff to be sure the public has clear information about what is happening. Those clinics are La Clinica de la Raza, Brookside Community Health Center and Planned Parenthood.
We want people to understand that only adults who are not legal residents are involved in this transfer. Children and pregnant women will continue to get their primary care at our County Health Centers. Everyone can still get emergency care at any hospital emergency room. People who are homeless can be seen by our mobile Healthcare for the Homeless program and get follow-up care in our Health Centers. And public health services like immunizations against communicable diseases, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS treatment is also available to all through the County health department.
I know this transfer might be confusing, but we have a number of ways the public can find out about who is being transferred and what services are still available. First, our Financial Counseling Unit is ready to explain different health coverage plans and who qualifies for what services. Please call them at 1-800-771-4270.
We also are very lucky in Contra Costa County to have 211; you can pick up a phone 24 hours a day, call 211 and ask—in any language—for help. They will listen to what you need and link you to the best place for you to get services. I'm also glad to offer our Contra Costa Health Plan Advice Nurse Unit to anyone in Contra Costa County—whether they are getting care in our system or not. Our Advices Nurses will answer questions about health-related issues and provide suggestions and tips. You can reach them at 1-877-661-6230.
I am committed to sharing as much information as possible with everyone affected by this change—especially our patients and also our providers and partners. There's a lot more information on our website at cchealth.org about where to find free or low cost health resources, what services the community clinics provide and much more.
Thanks for listening.