December 17, 2021, in collaboration with Sutter Lakeside Hospital and the Lake Family Resource Center a team was deployed to provide assistance to our unhoused neighbors within the City of Lakeport. The team includes a Sutter Lakeside Medical Director, Hospital Social Worker, Community Benefit & Patient Access Manager, Lakeport Police Department Sergeant, Lake Family Resource Center & Lakeport Police Department Community Crisis Responder and a Volunteer with Veterinary Technician experience.
The purpose of this outreach is to provide a helping hand and guidance to individuals experiencing homelessness and get them connected to the proper resources such as setting up medical care appointments, behavioral health assistance, housing assistance, other social services connections and care for any pets they may have.
“By going into the community we are not only extending access to care beyond the walls of our hospital and clinics, and helping people in the moment, but we’re also learning directly from the most vulnerable about their barriers to receiving ongoing care for mental health challenges or addiction,” said Rachel Walsh, Community Benefit & Patient Access Manager for Sutter Lakeside.
Sutter Health recently invested in Behavioral Health and Substance Use navigators to address the growing problems of mental health disorders and drug dependency, both worsened by the pandemic. Navigators play a unique role by providing people with the medical treatment, emotional support and other assistance that can foster long-term psychological stability and recovery from addiction. “Lessons from today will certainly inform our work,” remarked Walsh.
- The Sutter Lakeside Substance Use navigators are available to community members struggling with alcohol or drug dependency, including prescription opioids, and can be reached at (707) 262-5088.
- The Sutter Lakeside Behavioral Health navigator works in the hospital emergency department, offering support through referrals to ongoing outpatient care and follow-up to ensure patients access the services they need.
Courtesy of Hope Rising, Sutter Lakeside Hospital and other community partners, the team has also been able to offer winter warming kits, food, personal hygiene products, sleeping bags and other supplies to persons in need.
This is the second such outreach that the Lakeport Police Department and Sutter Lakeside Hospital have been able to do in Lakeport this year. The outreach is also part of a bigger goal of continuing to collaborate with the many local agencies and organizations working to end homelessness in our community.
“I’m excited to have law enforcement working directly with medical and social service providers to ensure a better response to those experiencing homelessness in our community,” said Lakeport Police Chief Brad Rasmussen.
Team members pictured, left to right – Alicia Adams Lake Family Resource Center/Lakeport Police Department Community Crisis Responder, Lakeport Police Department Sergeant Ryan Cooley, Sutter Lakeside Clinic Director Elyse Donald and Sutter Lakeside Community Benefit & Patient Access Manager Rachel Walsh.