Rural Health Day: District supports rural East County

MARCH 14, 2023: At the ambulance bay at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa in 2021. (Nelvin C. Cepeda/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Today, November 16th, 2023 is National Rural Health Day — and a strong focus of the District this year has been on supporting our rural East County constituents. The Grossmont Healthcare District (GHD) serves people living in urban areas such as El Cajon, but its boundaries also extend far East accounting for more remote communities like Mountain Empire. The 2023 Rural Health Day theme this year is “Innovation in Rural Health Care Delivery” and the District has made positive strides in this area through the Rural Health Discharge Pilot Program and expansion of the Rural Health Coalition.

Rural Health Discharge Pilot Program

The pilot program was created in an effort to reduce readmission rates at Sharp Grossmont Hospital improving healthcare delivery in neighborhoods that are distanced from emergency services. The District partnered with District 2 Supervisor Joel Anderson’s office and the county’s Health and Human Services Agency to send a registered public health nurse along with County Cal/Fire firefighters/paramedics to conduct post-discharge follow-ups on rural East County patients. The program involves reviewing living conditions and safety hazards in the residence and surrounding property, especially focusing on those with the highest readmission rates. Patients would then be also linked to the appropriate existing programs within County Cal/Fire that promote safety. Read local coverage of the program from the SD Tribune.

Rural Health Coalition

Additionally, the District continues to engage on the topic of rural health through the Rural Health Coalition, a group that began meeting in September 2021 when four organizations including the District partnered on a USDA federal grant. The group has since grown to include 7 organizations that meet monthly at the GHD office to discuss initiatives that directly impact rural constituents such as:

  • Vaccinations/Screenings
  • School-Based Health Program
  • Transportation Support
  • Camp Lockett Reimagined
  • Post-Discharge Follow-up Initiative
  • Broadband Expansion

Read more about what projects the District has initiated this year in regard to community support in our FY 22-23 Annual Report.

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