Blog and Events
CAPSLO Recruits for Board of Director Position (Unpaid)
Community Action Partnership of SLO is currently accepting applications for one Low Income Representative. The representative must reside in Supervisorial District III. The applicant does not need to be low-income but must represent low-income community members and secure a petition supporting their candidacy with the signatures of 15 low income residents in the represented district. The position is a three year term. The incumbent is applying for the position.
Interested parties should call 805-544-4355 for an application and petition. The deadline for submission is Wednesday, November 27th.
Part 4 in a new series of interviews with Community Action Partnership Staff
Cal-Poly Social Science Student and Community Action Partnership Intern Kaitlyn Oelsner interviews Heather Murphy, R.N., about the Adult Wellness and Prevention Programs.
Kaitlyn: What are some of your responsibilities as the Supervisor for Adult Wellness and Prevention Screening?
Heather: I am a registered nurse and I have worked as a Supervisor for Adult Wellness and Prevention for the last five years. We are a mobile unit that offers free health screening for adults. In this economy, a lot of people don’t have access to health care and the goal of Adult Wellness and Prevention is to improve access to health services. We primarily go to sites in the county that are easily accessible to senior citizens; however, the service is available to anyone over age 18. The individuals most in need of healthcare are often the ones who have limited mobility and we seek to address the needs of that population by offering our free clinics at a variety of easy to access sites in the community.
K: What sorts of services are offered at Adult Wellness and Prevention clinics?
H: We offer an assortment of free testing. We check for anemia and look at an individual’s blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, pulse, and weight. We are also available to offer basic guidance and education in regards to health related issues and healthy lifestyles. Many of our clients bring in their lab slips, blood work and medications. We take the time to go over any concerns that they may have about interpreting test results and medication usage.
K: You have just started a new program called, Healthy Eating for Successful Living in Older Adults. Can you tell me a bit about that?
H: Healthy Eating for Successful Living in Older Adults is a six-week nutrition workshop geared towards adults who are age 60 or older. We are mid-way through our first six-week workshop and so far it has been a huge success! The emphasis of the program is cardiovascular and bone health but we are able to adjust the curriculum to fit the health and nutrition needs of the group. We encourage all of our participants to make weekly goals. For example, a participant might want to lower their carbohydrate intake or someone else may want to address their high cholesterol. The program enables the group to make the diet and lifestyle changes necessary to achieve those health goals. It has been incredibly rewarding to see people take what they learn in our classes and use it to improve their health. We have a 91 year old woman in the group who is trying to lose a little bit of weight and she has already lost four pounds. She has been really diligent about keeping a food diary and has been an inspiration to all of us!
K: What is involved in a typical workshop?
H: We hold all of our meetings at the San Luis Obispo Senior Center. We meet once a week, six weeks in a row. Then we have a seventh meeting a couple weeks later. The seventh meeting will be a lot of fun because we will get to go out to a restaurant for lunch and practice all of the things we learned. During the first six weeks, we start every meeting by going over everyone’s goals from the previous week. It is really rewarding to see everyone make tangible progress towards improving their health. If, for some reason a participant did not meet their goal, we look at the possible reasons why and the group offers suggestions and encouragement. Everyone is really supportive of one-another and it has fostered a wonderful sense of community in the group. After we brainstorm about our goals we will give a short lesson. Then we watch an exercise video that everyone has a lot of fun with. After that, we provide a snack that had something to do with the lesson for that day. During our grain lesson we had a quinoa salad and the other day we brought in Cherimoyas. We try and introduce foods that they might not otherwise think about eating. After the snack, we have another short lesson and then we set our goals for the following week. It is two hours long and it goes by in the blink of an eye!
K: What has motivated you to become involved in this type of work?
H: As a nurse who has worked extensively with seniors over the years, I have seen a massive gap in nutrition education for this part of the population. I have seen the incredible difference that improved nutrition and exercise can have in the quality of life for seniors. I think sometimes older adults are missed in the media messages about nutrition. Their needs and obstacles to health may be different than someone who is younger. Seniors may live alone, be financially limited, or be unable to access a grocery store. For many seniors, cooking can be a difficult chore so they tend to rely on processed and easy to prepare foods. You can still have a healthy diet within those limitations, but health education needs to be tailored to meet their needs.
K: How do you think your job is helping people; changing lives?
H: We provide seniors with the information and support they need to make healthy choices. Healthcare can be intimidating and at times even threatening. Our current system of healthcare is difficult to navigate even if you have insurance and a regular general practitioner. Our clinics and workshops offer a non-threatening atmosphere in which people can raise their concerns and ask questions about their health. We act as an entry point for people who are not accessing the healthcare system for whatever reason. By enabling people to address their health needs, we help them improve their quality of life.
Part 3 in a new series of interviews with Community Action Partnership Staff
Cal Poly Social Science Student and Community Action Partnership Intern Kaitlyn Oelsner interviews Alma Bernal and Cristina Macedo about their new Health Navigator Program. The Health Navigator Program is funded by First 5 of San Luis Obispo County.
Kaitlyn: The Health Navigator program is relatively new to CAPSLO. Can you tell me a bit about what a Health Navigator does?
Alma: We empower families who have children under the age of five to successfully connect with and utilize available insurance and healthcare resources. Our target age group is 0-5 years old. This age group is the most vulnerable and it is a vital time for families to receive suitable assistance. Our current focus is to aid in the transition between Healthy Families and Medi-Cal. There is a lot of concern among families that their ability to access health care and insurance will be negatively affected. Part of our job is to ensure that this transition goes as smoothly as possible and that the needs of our clients are met.
Cristina: This transition is particularly difficult on the Spanish-speaking community. Navigating the health care system can be difficult for anyone, but it is particularly difficult if you are unfamiliar with the culture and language. We act as liaisons between the Spanish-speaking community and insurance and health care providers.
A: We are both bilingual and it is a very important skill for us. I think it’s a huge part of what we do. A lot of people who are new to the United States are intimidated from the get-go because of the culture shock. We are people that families can speak with comfortably. We can relate to them. We provide our clients with information that allows them to engage in and contribute to their communities. It is a win-win situation for both the family and the community.
K: What might be involved in a typical day as a Health Navigator?
A: On a typical day, I will meet with clients at their homes or any place where we can speak privately and in confidence. I provide them with information about their health care and insurance options. Once they have decided how they want to receive their health care, I guide them through the application process. Educating families about insurance and how to apply to insurance is a key component to what we do. Many of our clients are overwhelmed by the process and don’t know where to start. We help them take those first crucial steps toward getting coverage for their families. This assistance is a lifeline for non-English speaking clients.
C: We also make direct referrals and communicate with providers on behalf of our clients. We help set up appointments and transportation to and from doctor’s offices. A lack of transportation is a significant barrier for many of our clients. We attempt to overcome this barrier by connecting people to services such as Ride Share and public transportation.
A: It is important that we work around the needs of our families. Most families don’t get home until five or six and we are more than willing to meet with families in the evening. A typical day might be a long day but I believe in the work we are doing and for me, it is worth the long hours.
K: Children enrolled in the Healthy Families program are currently transitioning to Medi-Cal. Can you talk a bit about this process and how it affects your clients?
A: It will be difficult at first but it is like anything new. There are going to be changes and at first it can be uncomfortable. I feel strongly that the transition between Healthy Families and Medi-Cal is beneficial to my clients. This transition is a positive change and I think things are slowly going to fall into place. Many of my families are unsure about how this transition will affect them. There are children with serious medical issues who absolutely have to have their medical needs covered. For many of these families there is a lot of anxiety. Part of our job is to assist clients in understanding this transition and to ensure that this transition goes smoothly.
C: It can be confusing at first, especially for our Spanish-speaking clients who are unfamiliar with the system. It is difficult to assess exactly how this transition will affect people, but we are prepared to deal with any issues that may present themselves as more of our families make the change. We have training sessions on a regular basis and those allow us to stay up-to-date with any changes or new information. Right now, it is a matter of ironing out the bumps. With time, everything will settle.
K: What has motivated you to do this type of work?
C: I am from Peru and was very involved in social work there and I have also done some family advocacy work here in California. I really enjoy working with families. I have always been passionate about helping others and I find the work to be incredibly rewarding. There is no better feeling that knowing you have helped another person.
A: I come from a family of activists. It‘s in my blood. Ever since I was a little girl, it has been instilled in me to be the voice for people who do not have a voice. My mother was very involved in the Cesar Chavez labor and civil rights movement. Of course, as young children, my siblings and I went wherever she went so we were very fortunate to see that sort of activism first-hand. Cesar Chaves used to hold rallies at Presiker Park in Santa Maria and my family would organize a raffle so he would have enough gas money to get home. It was a truly grass roots movement. I have a picture of my family at one of his rallies on my desk. It reminds me that anything is possible. One person with a good heart and enough willpower can make an incredible difference in the lives of many.
K: How do you think your job is helping people; changing lives?
A: We really empower families. All of our CAPSLO programs empower families. As Health Navigators, we give people options and the information they need to make good decisions about their future and their children’s healthcare. The first five years of a child’s life is critical to their development. Good health during this time period is the foundation for a healthy, happy and successful future. We enable families to provide their children with this solid foundation.
C: Ensuring access to healthcare and insurance for a child will not only change that child’s life for the better but it will also improve the life of the whole family. The parents of a sick child can’t work and the other children in the family receive less attention and resources. Ensuring the health of the children in our community contributes to the health of the community as a whole.
First, on August 20, the Adult Day Center will be the recipient of the Atascadero “Tuesday Evenings at the Lake” BBQ. Enjoy a Tri-tip BBQ with all the fixins!
On Thursday, August 29, Homeless Services will be the recipient of a California Pizza Kitchen FUNdraiser. Bring in a copy of the attached flyer and 20% of your bill will be donated to Homeless Services. Dine in, take-out, catering, and all beverage orders are included, but you must present a copy of the flyer! Flyers can be printed by clicking the image below, or you can come by to pick some up at 1030 Southwood Drive, SLO. Please share with your friends and family!
Take a break from cooking and join us! We hope to see you there! Click here for larger view of BBQ flyer.
Community Action Partnership’s Centers for Health and Prevention Offer Array of Men’s Health Services
June is National Men’s Health Awareness Month. Did you know that the Centers for Disease Control found that only 42% of men report having visited a doctor within the past year and fewer than 38% reported having a usual place where they seek medical care? Men of all ages are 24% less likely to visit the doctor than their female counter parts. This means men receive fewer exams that could potentially identify health problems before they become more serious.
The Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County has health clinics, The Centers for Health and Prevention, located in Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo that provide no to low-cost health exams for men. These exams include: basic health screenings of the heart, chest, lungs, abdomen and thyroid; screening for reproductive cancers; testing and treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). We also provide bloodless HIV testing and no-cost birth control.
Reproductive health services for men, women, and teens are available five days a week and walk-ins are welcome. All services are provided by knowledgeable, culturally-competent staff in a confidential, non-judgmental environment. Bi-lingual services are available.
Both the Arroyo Grande and San Luis Obispo sites offer “teen-only” hours two afternoons per week. During these special hours, our highly trained teen staff work as medical assistants, providing non-medical services for adolescent patients in a nonjudgmental, teen-centered and confidential environment.
It is recommended that men receive yearly well checks and that all non-monogamous, sexually active men get tested regularly for STIs and HIV, particularly if they engage in unprotected sex. Kayla Wilburn, Clinic Manager for the Center for Health and Prevention said “because many STIs can be symptomless, it is important to get tested regularly even if you ‘feel fine.’”
To make an appointment call 544-2478 for the SLO clinic, or 489-4026 for the Arroyo Grande clinic. For more information about the services offered by The Centers for Health and Prevention, please visit http://healthandprevention.capslo.org or contact Kayla Wilburn, Clinic Manager, at 805.544-2498 ext 21.
Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County is a nonprofit agency that focuses on helping people and changing lives through serving nearly 40,000 persons across Central and Southern California. We are committed to eliminating poverty by empowering individuals and families to achieve economic self-sufficiency and self-determination through a comprehensive array of community-based programs.
- 26th Annual Afternoon of Epicurean Delight is right around the corner!
- Cal Poly Greek Weeks Raises $1,600 for Homeless Services
- April is STD Awareness Month
- Public Hearing
- Central Coast Funds for Children Supports the Teen Academic Parenting Program
- 26th Annual Afternoon of Epicurean Delights Announces Music Line Up
- 11th Annual Teen Monologues is Coming Thursday May 2nd
- Free Nutrition Classes for Adults 60 +
- 26th Annual Afternoon of Epicurean Delights is Coming June 2nd!
- KSBY Talks about the Afternoon of Epicurean Delights and the Chapman Estate!
- Fundraiser Night at Chino's for Community Action Partnership
- San Luis Obispo Family Resource Center
- 26th Annual Afternoon of Epicurean Delights
- We’re on a Mission
- Message from the Chief Executive Officer
- Trivia Brain Challenge 2013
- Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County Adult Day Center Raises $5,871 at Annual Fancy Hat Tea Party and Fashion Show
- Teen Monologues Community Performance
- Behind the Scenes at Community Action Partnership: Supporting Healthier Families
- Behind the Scenes at Community Action Partnership: What’s Cooking?