WATTS HEALTHCARE CELEBRATES NATIONAL HEALTH CENTER WEEK, AUGUST 8 – 14, 2021
Salutes of “Wakanda Forever” became a part of pop culture in 2018 as fans celebrated the cast and crew of the popular movie Black Panther. So, the passing of the 43-year-old star actor Chadwick Boseman from colorectal cancer sent shock waves throughout the nation and reopened conversations about colorectal cancer. Issues pertaining to the racial and ethnic statistical variances, the conflicting guidelines; the disparities in access to preventive care and the social and economic contributors to lifestyle choices that impact colorectal cancer rates.
Watts Healthcare Corporation (WHCC) has positioned itself to help change the trajectory of this illness among the patients we serve. In March of 2020, WHCC partnered with Southside Coalition and the American Cancer Society to improve the screening rates of colorectal cancer among our patients. COVID 19 dampened some of these efforts, however we quickly pivoted to accommodate pandemic restrictions and continued to provide this much needed service to our patients. The outreach and engagement efforts of the Southside Coalition team and our very own patient navigator has resulted in connected outreach to 956 patients eligible for colorectal cancer screening. Of this number, 338 fecal globin kits have already been mailed out to patients’ homes with an approximate 18% return rate so far for the first quarter of 2021.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states “Regular screening, beginning at age 50, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer and finding it early.” WHCC in collaboration with our partner, the Southside coalition plans to use this key to make a difference in the health and well-being of our patients.
LOS ANGELES, July 13, 2020 — The Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation (OWCF) announced today a $3 million donation to South LA Forward, a newly created coalition of three Los Angeles based grassroot organizations – SoLa I Can Foundation, SEE-LA, and the Watts Healthcare Corporation. This OWCF donation is in addition to the previously announced $12 million donation to COVID-19 related relief efforts in Oprah’s “home cities” of Chicago, Nashville, Milwaukee, and Kosciusko, Mississippi.
Winfrey reached out to community organizations to best support South Los Angeles during the pandemic and beyond, and helped institute a collaboration created to address the urgent needs of the community including food insecurity, access to healthcare and economic disparity. South LA Forward was established and committed to providing 200 tons of fresh food to feed 80,000 Angelenos, 200 scholarships to those who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic, and expanded COVID-19 testing and primary care for South LA residents. For more information on the resources available and how to apply for a scholarship, please visit www.solaimpact.com/core-fund.
“As I continue to seek out ways to support underserved communities, I was struck by the unique multi-layered approach to effect real change to the systematic barriers of access to healthy food, quality health care and educational opportunities,” said Oprah Winfrey.
“We were incredibly honored to be selected by the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation, along with SEE-LA and Watts Healthcare” stated Sherri Francois, the Executive Director of the SoLa Impact’s I Can Foundation. “We believe addressing economic inequality and racial injustice requires a multi-pronged approach, and are thrilled that Ms. Winfrey has taken such a holistic approach in addressing these issues.”
“South LA Forward will dramatically expand our COVID-19 emergency food distribution program and help SEE-LA address entrenched obstacles to food access in my community,” said Marie-Alise de Marco of SEE-LA. “As a South LA native, I know first-hand that food insecurity and historic inequities in our food system walk hand in hand. It’s time to forge sustainable local solutions once and for all.”
Dr. Roderick Seamster, President and Chief Executive Officer of Watts Healthcare Corporation, said, “The grant will enable Watts Healthcare to more effectively carry out its mission and greatly expand our ability to provide care to South Los Angeles individuals at risk for COVID-19 due to chronic health conditions.”
About the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation:
Guided by the intention of supporting those in need, the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation (OWCF) supports organizations around the world. Since 1993, OWCF has contributed millions in grants and donations to organizations that serve children, families and communities, with a specific focus on youth education. For more information, please visit Oprah.com/OWCF
About SoLa Impact’s I Can Foundation
The SoLa I CAN Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit affiliate of SoLa Impact, aims to improve the lives of South LA residents through affordable housing, education, and economic development. We strive to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by providing educational scholarships, mentorship, job readiness and access to development experiences. SoLa Impact’s Beehive campus will house dozens of minority-owned and women-owned entrepreneurs. See www.solaimpact/core-fund
Sustainable Economic Enterprises of Los Angeles (SEE-LA) is the largest mission-driven operator of farmers’ markets in Southern California and a leader in nutrition education and improving food access. SEE-LA connects low-income Angelenos to fresh, affordable produce, supports California family farms and local small businesses, and builds sustainable food systems. See: www.seela.org
About Watts Healthcare Corporation
Watts Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center in business since 1967. Operating seven clinical sites, one substance abuse treatment center, two mobile programs for dental services and mammograms and a host of preventive health services, its mission is to, “improve the health and well-being of the communities it serves”. See: www.wattshealth.org
Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation:
Chelsea_Hettrick@own.tv / 323-602-5632
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Watts Healthcare Corporation (WHCC) and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) are collaborating to offer coronavirus testing to the general public experiencing symptoms of infection, and those who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus.
As a primary care and public health organization, Watts Healthcare recognizes the importance of early testing in helping to identify new cases, and immediately treating and isolating to mitigate the spread. Testing is also important in the bigger public health picture in order to support prevention efforts, and understand the prevalence, spread and contagiousness of COVID-19 within the community.
Drive-through testing is now open to the general public by appointment only, and is available at:
Watts Health Center
10300 Compton Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90002
Please call 323-568-3000 to schedule an appointment between the hours of 10:00am and 12:00pm & 2:30pm and 4:30pm, daily. Our medical staff will need to perform a health assessment prior to doing the test.
Testing is available:
Monday-Friday, 9a.m. to 12:00pm, or until daily testing supplies run out.
Monday-Friday, 1:30pm to 4:00pm, or until daily testing supplies run out.
The Siemens Foundation today announced it is providing $100,000 to Watts Healthcare Center (WHCC) to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. The community health center is one of 12 receiving financial support from the non-profit organization established by Siemens USA. Aligning with its dedication to social equity, the Siemens Foundation, including funding provided aby Siemens Healthineers, is committing a total of $1.5 million to support these critical healthcare providers so they can continue serving their communities when they are needed most.
WHCC has been recognized at the local, state and national levels as a leader in the Community Health Center (CHC) setting, and over the last five decades has grown to become one of the most comprehensive private nonprofit, community-based organizations in the nation. In 2019, WHCC offered primary care, specialty and social services to an estimated 25,000 lives at seven locations in South Los Angeles County, which includes the historic House of Uhuru, a 66-bed residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment program.
Like all other community health centers, WHCC remains on the frontline to provide essential services and joins a network of hospitals and clinics in the response to the coronavirus outbreak. WHCC has established and continuously improves strict COVID-19 screening for all employees, visitors and patients who present at each health center location. Individuals with symptoms receive further clinical assessment and care as recommended by public health guidance and WHCC’s clinical experts. Tests for the coronavirus are also performed based on the criteria the organization is following. WHCC’s response is led by its Emergency Management Team, which comprises a diverse, core group of clinical and operational leaders who support the organization’s response to any emergency incident, such as a natural disaster or an interruption of business operations.
“I remain humbled by the rapid response, engagement and commitment from the Watts Healthcare family during this national public health emergency, as well as our enhanced collaboration with new and existing public health partners. The grant will support core daily operations, which will allow us to strengthen and sustain our COVID-19 response efforts,” said Olusheyi Lawoyin, Chief Operations Officer of WHCC.
While WHCC has always had telehealth capabilities, it has quickly transitioned to and adapted the utilization of telehealth technologies to address healthcare needs during this crisis. WHCC sees its role as a health system that is expedient, continuously improves access and enhances care coordination through this crisis. Outreach to patients who are determined to be at risk for COVID-19 due to morbidity are also scheduled to be seen, as a priority. The organization will soon be offering convenient pharmacy home delivery services. Despite the strain the health center has faced, WHCC has not turned anyone away.
“This funding from Siemens comes at an opportune time and will help our healthcare workers who are significantly impacted. On behalf of our Watts community, we thank you Siemens Foundation for your thoughtful contribution,” said LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino.
WHCC was selected using equity criteria developed by the Siemens Foundation in consultation with the National Association of Community Health Centers, the Minnesota Association of Community Health Centers, and Siemens. The center is free to use the funding as it deems necessary in response to the crisis.
“As the COVID-19 crisis disproportionately threatens lower-income and medically underserved communities, it’s important for us to support the institutions that sustain our social compact,” said David Etzwiler, CEO of the Siemens Foundation. “Community health centers and their staff are on the front lines providing primary care every day and they now play an especially critical role in our medical services infrastructure when emergency services and hospital settings are overwhelmed. Vital services like these are paramount to supporting equity across America.”
The $1.5 million total commitment is funded, in part, by the Siemens Healthineers Fund of the Siemens Foundation, supported by Siemens Healthineers business in the United States.
“It is a critical time to ensure all patients and families are able to access the care they need,” said Dave Pacitti, Siemens Foundation Board of Directors member; President of Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.; and Head of the Americas for Siemens Healthineers. “The nation’s community health centers are a vital safety net for millions of patients, and these investments will help them to continue providing affordable care that strengthens the entire U.S. healthcare system in combatting the pandemic.”
For more information on the Siemens Foundation, follow @SFoundation on Twitter or visit siemens-foundation.org.
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About the Siemens Foundation
The Siemens Foundation has invested more than $122 million in the United States to advance workforce development and education initiatives in science, technology, engineering and math. Our mission is inspired by the culture of innovation, research and continuous learning that is the hallmark of Siemens’ companies. Together, the programs at the Siemens Foundation are narrowing the opportunity gap for young people in the U.S. in STEM careers and igniting and sustaining today’s STEM workforce and tomorrow’s scientists and engineers.
About Siemens Healthineers
Siemens Healthineers AG (listed in Frankfurt, Germany: SHL) is shaping the future of Healthcare. As a leading medical technology company headquartered in Erlangen, Germany, Siemens Healthineers enables healthcare providers worldwide through its regional companies to increase value by empowering them on their journey towards expanding precision medicine, transforming care delivery, improving the patient experience, and digitalizing healthcare. Siemens Healthineers is continuously developing its product and service portfolio, with AI-supported applications and digital offerings that play an increasingly important role in the next generation of medical technology. These new applications will enhance the company’s foundation in in-vitro diagnostic, image-guided therapy, and in-vivo diagnostics. Siemens Healthineers also provides a range of services and solutions to enhance healthcare providers’ ability to provide high-quality, efficient care to patients. In fiscal 2019, which ended on September 30, 2019, Siemens Healthineers, which has approximately 52,000 employees worldwide, generated revenue of €14.5 billion and adjusted profit of €2.5 billion. Further information is available at www.siemens-healthineers.com.
At Watts Healthcare, we continue to closely monitor the rapidly evolving developments related to the coronavirus. WHCC has implemented universal screenings at our health center locations for patients, visitors and employees as a precautionary response, and our healthcare teams have been trained on the proper use of personal protective equipment to limit possible exposure.
WHCC providers will continue working diligently to educate our patients on preventative actions to stop the spread of respiratory diseases, in alignment with recommendations issued from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As a public health organization, our responsibility is to collectively to assure the conditions in which people can be healthy and improve health outcomes.
As reported in LA Times, community clinics and health centers are a vital part of the country’s healthcare system but the current crisis has created revenue and resource challenges. As a result of this pandemic, our organization has been forced to make organizational changes in alignment with public health guidance.
In an interview with LA Times, Watts Healthcenter’s President and CEO, Dr. Roderick Seamster, assured that Watts Healthcare is still seeing patients with chronic illnesses, and to reduce the risk of exposure, the organization has implemented a strict screening of patients and staff at every entrance.
As we navigate through the coronavirus outbreak, we remain committed to ensuring that our patients, employees and community feel safe and valued. We are grateful to our staff who remain at the frontlines in the fight against coronavirus.
For more information on the LA Times article, visit: WHCC NEWS
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