Daly City, CA (August 30, 2012) –Seton Medical Center welcomes the community to its new Health Benefits Resource Center (HBRC) at a free open house on Tuesday, September 4, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Families and individuals seeking affordable health services are invited to meet staff members and community partners, enjoy refreshments and learn more about how they can receive assistance.
“The services we provide through the Health Benefits Resource Centerare aligned with our mission to provide care to the sick and those living in poverty,” says Sister Arthur Gordon, vice president of Mission Integration at Seton Medical Center. “It helps provide a means of access to healthcare and social services with a holistic approach to the entire family,” she adds.
Providing access to health benefits and other resources to promote healthy families, the Health Benefits Resource Center is a centrally located information and referral service linking families to government-sponsored health benefits and social services, including Medi-Cal, Healthy Families, Healthy Kids, Food Bank and Cal Fresh (formerly Food Stamps). Families are assisted regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. HBRC provides free confidential assessments, referrals to community resources, and assistance in completing applications for free or low-cost health insurance programs. Services are available in English, Spanish and Tagalog.
“Being able to have access to healthcare and learning how to take charge of one’s health through education and lifestyle changes is empowering,” notes Lydia Ramirez, director of Community Outreach Programs for the Daughters of Charity Ministry Services. She explains the four HBRCs within Daughters of Charity Health System help individuals and families by determining what services are needed, identifying which agencies can help, then helping them navigate through the complex process of determining eligibility, completing forms and getting the necessary information processed. Funding for the HBRC is provided by a grant from the Daughters of Charity Foundation. The Daughters of Charity sponsor Seton Medical Center and four additional hospitals from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
With large numbers of job losses and reduction in hours in recent years for many individuals, Ramirez says the health system’s HBRCs have seen an increase in the number of people seeking assistance from government programs for the first time.
“During the past year, our HBRCs assisted more than 10,000 people,” she says. Ramirez adds that some individuals decide not to pursue getting assistance because they do not think they qualify. “We give people an opportunity for a Q&A forum, offer a free, confidential household assessment and provide an initial eligibility screening,” she adds. “This helps more people gain access to healthcare.”
Ariel Santos, manager of the Health Benefits Resource Center at Seton Medical Center says that many patients who come to the center are under a great deal of stress from being ill and suffering financial hardships. “We want to take some of the burden of stress away by handling the processes that are very detailed and cumbersome,” he says.
The Health Benefits Resource Center is located on the first floor, near the main visitor elevators, at Seton Medical Center,1900 Sullivan Ave. in Daly City. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and serves the communities of southern San Francisco and all of northern San Mateo County, including along the coast. Please call (855) 848-HBRC for assistance or visit www.setonmedicalcenter.org.
About Seton Medical Center: Seton Medical Center, part of the Daughters of Charity Health System, is a faith-based, nonprofit, 357-bed hospital and is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most respected hospitals. With over 400 of the area’s finest physicians on staff, Seton offers a variety of medical specialties and sub-specialties. Whether for the birth of a baby, life-saving surgery or a routine mammogram, Seton continues to set the standard for medical care and offers the community the most comprehensive array of services and programs just as it has done for the past 100 years. For more information visit www.setonmedicalcenter.org.