Health care Equity

Shelter-in-place orders meant a big shift in the way we did healthcare this year. And these changes were felt by all of our patients, but especially our pediatric patients. With schools quickly closing, many families were left without the appropriate supplies to continue supporting their child’s education from home.

For the staff of 6M, the Children’s Health Center, understanding their patients’ needs outside of the clinic has always been a priority. Checking in on food security, housing, and social-emotional development is integrated into how they provide care for our youngest patients. So when schooling moved from the classroom to the home, staff realized many of their families would struggle to adapt.

Neeti Doshi, MD, and her colleagues continued to see patients in person for important check-ups and vaccinations and recognized the opportunity to send families home more prepared. Thanks to a 2020 Hearts Grant, CHC purchased supplies to create distance learning kits as a special treat after their appointments.

Backpacks were filled with school supplies, books, notebooks, notecards, pencils, crayons, legos – the tools these kids would need to keep up with their skills during remote schooling.

And these backpacks flew off the shelves. Along with Patient Pantry supplies like food, diapers, and wipes, staff members were able to make an impact on their families’ immediate needs.

We are thrilled with the program. It reinforces the importance of school in their lives. And when they open the backpacks and see all ofh the supplies, they are even more excited Nurse Vincent, 6M

Creating healthy connections between a visit to the doctor’s office and learning has been an added bonus to Patient Pantries in ZSFG clinics this year. With 32,000 patient visits each year, the CHC is exemplifying whole-patient care for their young patients and their families.