Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic in Rural California

Northern California Coast

The Health Alliance of Northern California (HANC) and the North Coast Clinics Network (NCCN) are regional associations of community health centers who annually serve more than 200,000 patients across 14 rural, northern California counties.

Northern California’s rural community health centers (CHCs) faced consecutive public health emergencies over the last several years. In 2020 these CHCs concurrently contended with the COVID-19 pandemic and the wildfires. During this unprecedented period of co-occurring emergencies, ensuring access to health care was their priority.

The focus of this paper will be to highlight

1) ongoing health care inequities in northern California’s rural areas, which CHCs encountered prior to the COVID-19 pandemic;

2) logistical challenges CHCs met in providing care during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic;

3) collaborative strategies used to address these COVID-19 obstacles;

4) needed immediate solutions, considering pre and post COVID-19 health challenges

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