Public health innovation in the Bay Area or is it mainly cultural competence?
December 10, 2020
Quick but very exciting note from the news in the Bay Area.
In Santa Clara County, East San Jose has had a lot of cases of coronavirus during this pandemic. This is a heavily Latino population (muy buena gente!) who live in crowded settings due to EXTREMELY expensive housing, do a lot of front-line work, etc. This population has greater exposure and greater incidence of coronavirus.
So, the Santa Clara County Director of Testing and Tracing, Dr. Fenstersheib (MD, MPH), reached into his bag of tricks and has directed his staff to go door to door in East San Jose and provide residents with test kits which they return to the Public Health Outreach Worker on the spot. Results come back quickly.
This door to door direct service is a new thing in the US, but Public Health Departments in Mexico have been doing this kind of outreach for years via health department employees (often nurses) who provide vaccinations door to door in many parts of Mexico. This results in a much higher pediatric vaccination rate than in the US.
Bravo to Santa Clara County for borrowing this public health methodology from Mexico and applying it here in the US. It is very promising!
PS CBS News coverage of this new program: https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.