St Helena, CA--The Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) announced today its first set of grants from the proceeds of the 2012 Auction Napa Valley fundraising event. Beginning with these grants, the organization will invest $7 million over the coming months primarily on two strategic priorities: community health and children's education. The first awards total more than $1.9 million and are for direct medical and dental services.
"These funds are designated for providing those without other options access to timely primary, preventive, acute and emergency care; helping patients prevent and manage chronic diseases; and improving children's health," explained Linda Reiff, Napa Valley Vintners executive director. "By emphasizing preventive and intervention services, we can help residents keep health issues from becoming more serious and costly to treat."
The county's three largest healthcare providers — Community Health Clinic Ole, Queen of the Valley Medical Center and St. Helena Hospital — will receive the grants totaling more than $1.9 million. Combined, these three providers treated more than 62,000 Napa County residents — nearly half of the population of Napa County — last year. And their emphasis on prevention and early intervention programs aligns with the NVV's funding strategy.
TACKLING A NATIONAL ISSUE ON A LOCAL LEVEL
A recent national survey conducted by Hill & Knowlton Strategies reported that one in three Americans put off medical treatment and checkups because of health care costs. And more than 25 percent of people say that medical costs were the most important factor—outweighing advice from their physician— in making a health-care decision.
Napa County statistics reflect those numbers, and point to the need for medical care that is proactive, preventive and accessible. Queen of the Valley Medical Center provided treatment to almost three times as many uninsured patients in 2012 as compared to 2010, according to Elaine John, vice president/philanthropy for Queen of the Valley Medical Center. The Center also reports a significant rise in the number of its patients enrolled in MediCal during the same period—and government reimbursement to healthcare providers does not fully cover the costs of providing care to these patients.
"Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease, are so prevalent in Napa County, yet more and more people are putting off seeking medical care, because of cost of and access to care," states Steve Lundin, chief development officer for the St. Helena Hospital Foundation. "The consequences of delayed health care can be devastating — they are clearly associated with worse health outcomes and higher costs for patients and providers. It's truly a vicious cycle."
DIRECT MEDICAL SERVICES - FUNDING RECIPIENTS
Community Health Clinic Ole
Clinic Ole is a Federally Qualified Health Center and the only not-for-profit community clinic in Napa County. Clinic Ole provides health care to 25,000 patients annually, charging for services on a sliding-fee scale based on federal poverty guidelines. It provides primary and preventive medical and behavioral health care. In addition to the main clinic in the Napa Valley Vintners Community Health Center in Napa, it operates clinics in St. Helena and Calistoga, provides weekly clinics at Napa's two homeless shelters and oversees a clinic for students at Napa Valley College.
All Clinic Ole programs employ prevention strategies. These include diabetes education groups to teach patients self-management techniques; registered dietitian services for preventing obesity, diabetes and related illnesses in healthy patients as well as self-management techniques for avoiding complications and hospitalizations in patients with chronic illnesses; and chronic pain groups to help patients avoid dependence on pain medications. In addition, it offers early-detection screenings, such as mammograms and pap smears; free exercise classes in the community; and its medical and dental teams work together to assure that when children come for their well-child exams, they are also connected to the dental clinic to schedule regular exams and cleanings.
Queen of the Valley Medical Center
Queen of the Valley Medical Center is a 174-bed full-service non-profit hospital. Its CARE Network program is designed to manage disease to reduce the acute medical, psychosocial and economic self-sufficiency needs of referred patients. The program uses interdisciplinary teams to support chronically ill patients, and intervening medical services to treat the acutely ill before they have a crisis that requires treatment in the ER or hospital. In fiscal year 2011, patients in the CARE Network experienced a 77 percent decrease in ER visits and a 40 percent decrease in hospitalizations compared to 12 months prior to enrollment in the program. Program success is in part due to building and strengthening a broad network of community partners.
Other preventive programs provided at low or no cost by the Queen to the community include cardiac rehab, a cancer wellness program, a diabetes wellness program, its mobile dental van, its Healthy for Life childhood obesity program, and immunization of appropriate hospital patients for pneumococcal pneumonia and influenza.
St. Helena Hospital
St. Helena Hospital is 181-bed full-service non-profit hospital. It employs multi-faceted approaches to prevention and early intervention for patients and the community, offering programs designed to help patients adopt and sustain a healthy lifestyle; promoting and offering screenings for early detection of disease and illness; and providing appropriate interventions. It also offers community education on a number of health-related topics.
In addition, SHH participates in research to identify prevention strategies. Its Martin-O'Neil Cancer Center participates in clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). These trials test medicines, vitamins, minerals, supplements, and lifestyle changes that may lower the risk of cancer; and screenings and observational trials to test the best way to detect cancer, particularly in its early stages.
IMPROVING THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF NAPA COUNTY
"Our goal with this investment is to help these organizations continue their efforts to make timely care available to all. By doing so, the Napa Valley Vintners not only helps individuals in need, but eases the strain on local healthcare system resources, which in turn improves quality of life for all Napa County residents," said Reiff.
Details for the other categories of funding and beneficiaries will be announced over the next five months. This year's $7 million investment brings the NVV's overall giving of Auction Napa Valley funds to more than $110 million. For more information on the Napa Valley Vintners' investment in the community, visit www.napavintners.com.