In recent months, communities across the United States have witnessed health care workers’ commitment to improving the health of their patients and fellow community members. Everyday our health care providers in Kern County assist residents of underserved communities receive the preventative care they deserve.

As your county supervisor, I am committed to bridging the gap between underserved communities and health care providers in our county. Since March when COVID-19 began to spread, the telehealth industry has expanded and become a viable tool to ensure residents with vulnerable immune systems or those who are unable to attend a doctor’s appointment in-person to receive preventative care.

I am pleased to announce the partnership between the California Farmworkers Foundation, Dr. Nidia Payan and the Fourth District Office to conduct free virtual medical consultations for farmworkers on Thursday at the Fourth District Kern County Supervisor Office located at 12014 Main St. in Lamont.

Dr. Payan developed Dr. En Su Casa to provide clarity, affordability and convenience to individuals who struggle with the rising cost of health care and language barriers with medical professionals. Dr. Payan’s commitment to providing high quality convenient care that is convenient, bilingual and affordable makes an important impact in the Fourth District.

Please note that due to limited consultations, participants are required to reserve an appointment by calling (661)-778-0015. Farmworkers impacted by chronic diseases and respiratory illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, asthma and valley fever are encouraged to participate.

To slow the spread of COVID-19, the California Farmworkers Foundation’s staff on site will only see 10 patients on an appointment basis between 2 to 5 p.m. The staff will sanitize using disinfectant wipes, spray the facility with disinfectant spray after every appointment, and wipe down everything being used such as the tables, chairs, equipment, door handles, etc. Also CFF staff will be wearing gloves, appropriate masks and will only allow one patient and one staff member into the facility at a time. Dr. Payan will be on the laptop screen and providing consultations to patients.

Keep in mind that staff will sanitize after every single appointment thoroughly and proceed to accept the next appointment only after they feel the facility is clean. Also face masks are required to enter the facility. If a patient arrives at the facility with no coverage, CFF will attempt to provide them with a mask and gloves. The patient will be required to use hand sanitizer (provided by CFF) and put their gloves and mask on before being further assisted for the safety of staff/volunteers. If the person with the appointment refuses to wear a mask or gloves, they will not be able to enter the facilities and will have to reschedule their appointment for another date and time.

In the long run, we will see the positive effects of community partnerships to expand telehealth in the Fourth District. Special thanks to CFF Executive Director Hernan Hernandez and Program Specialist Yanelie Ponce for approaching my office with this unique opportunity. I am pleased with their determination to keep residents safe from the virus while at the same time providing services to those who have not had access to medical care.

If you are interested in being added to our email contact list, or if you have any questions for me, contact the District 4 office at 661-868-3680 or email us at district4@kerncounty.com. Have a safe week. Stay healthy.

David Couch represents Kern County’s Fourth District.

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