Three primary care doctors and one pediatrician have joined Community Health Centers of the Central Coast.
The healthcare provider employed these physicians at its clinics in Lompoc, Arroyo Grande and Santa Maria through funding made possible by CenCal Health, the publicly-sponsored health plan for Medi-Cal in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
In addition, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics recruited a pediatrician for its Goleta clinic, as well as a psychiatric nurse practitioner in Santa Barbara, also with funds from CenCal Health.
That’s a total of six new medical practitioners who are now working locally with help from CenCal Health.
The additional staff came about because of the Network Access Improvement program, which CenCal began at the start of this year. The initiative focuses on increasing primary and specialty care capacity for local Medi-Cal members, as well as improving access to care for children and disabled members, according to a news release.
The initiative focuses on recruiting new medical professionals and funding specialized medical equipment such as audiology testing devices, vaccine refrigerators and exam room apparatus to meet the needs of mobility-impaired patients.
“In the next few years, the Central Coast will experience a wave of retiring physicians,” the news release noted. “CenCal Health’s Network Access Improvement program proactively addresses this future physician shortage and strives to attract new specialists to the area.”
CenCal Health Provider Services Director Terri Howell noted that provider partners often face a challenge in recruiting medical professionals from outside the area. “It’s important that we support our partners in employing more medical experts, who in turn, can serve more of our members.”