Community Health Centers of the Central Coast has received the 17th annual Supporting the Safety Net Award from the Association for Community Affiliated Health Plans, according to CenCal Health, the Medi-Cal-managed care plan for Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties,
This prestigious national award honors a community organization or individual that exceeds expectations in implementing health programs to benefit underserved populations.
ACAP member CenCal Health nominated CHC for this recognition due to CHC’s vital role in serving the vulnerable and disenfranchised on the Central Coast during the COVID-19 pandemic, most notably supporting Hispanic and Latinx/e workers employed in food production and agriculture.
Exporting to more than 30 countries and rendering more than $1.8 billion in production value, agriculture is one of the largest industries in Santa Barbara County, according to a 2020 agricultural report published by the county. Though designated as critical members of the workforce, being a farm laborer often comes at a dangerous price.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hispanic and Latinx/e workers employed in food production or agriculture have a substantially higher risk of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death compared to non-Hispanic workers in those industries.
— Marilyn McMahon