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Davis, California

Monday, April 15, 2024

Healthy Davis Together adapts operations in response to reduced need

City of Davis receives funding from American Rescue Plan, officials emphasize pandemic is not over yet

By JELENA LAPUZ — city@theaggie.org

Healthy Davis Together has been a staple in the Davis community’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to a decrease in need, Healthy Davis Together has focused operations to three CommuniCare clinics in Davis, Woodland and West Sacramento. 

Lucretia Maas, the director of nurses for CommuniCare Health Centers, explained how the collaboration between CommuniCare and Healthy Davis together began in March. 

“Healthy Davis Together approached us about potentially collaborating on vaccine efforts,” Maas said. “Since March, we have been utilizing our vaccines and staff to move forward and vaccinate our patients and the community members of Yolo County with Healthy Davis Together.”

Evan Priestley, the director of operations for CommuniCare Health Centers, emphasized the importance of the partnership between CommuniCare and Healthy Davis Together. 

​​ “It’s been a really intimate partnership that’s evolved during different phases of COVID and is a really great example of innovative partnership,” Priestley said. “Aligning our resources really made sense for the efforts that we’re trying to pull off.”

Maas described CommuniCare’s current focus in regard to future operations 

“At this point, we’re persisting forward to get vaccines delivered to as many community members as possible,” Maas said. “A little over 47% of the Yolo County members are vaccinated so we have a little ways to go.”

Priestley explained the reasoning behind CommuniCare’s current shift. 

​​ “The Healthy Davis Together operations are moving onsite intentionally in terms of promoting access and remaining open to the public,” Priestley said. “By having Healthy Davis Together move onsite to a location that’s easier to access for the hardest-to-reach part of the population, that improves access overall for the general public.”

City of Davis councilmember Dan Carson noted the positive changes in the community now that more residents have been vaccinated. 

“The number of new infections has dramatically slowed in our community,” Carson said. “I think this will be documented as one of the most effective public health interventions ever of its kind.”

Priestley noted the contrast in the community in regard to vaccinations. 

“There were pockets of the community that were very eager to get vaccinated,” Priestley said. “There were also pockets of the population that were not eager to be vaccinated due to a number of different reasons. I think that’s reflective of the diversity of the population that lives in Yolo County.”

Carson urged people to continue their efforts to ensure the health and safety of the community. 

“This isn’t over,” Carson said. “We still have work to do to defeat this pandemic and we’re taking it seriously as a city to see this through.”

Maas explained that one of the goals of CommuniCare is to be as inclusive as possible while providing care.

“We as Communicare are part of the community and we’re here to serve the healthcare and mental health needs of everyone, whether or not you have insurance,” Maas said. “We are definitely here during the pandemic to help people stay healthy, but also to reverse the pandemic by getting as many folks vaccinated as possible.”

Carson described the Davis City Council’s continued focus on ensuring the safety of the community. 

“Our very first goal that we adopted is that we want to ensure a safe, healthy and equitable community,” Carson said. “The very first objective under that goal is about guiding our community successfully until the end of the pandemic.”

Carson explained that the City of Davis received funding from the American Rescue Plan.

“We want to make sure that we use those funds to stabilize our city government, […] but we also want to make sure we use that money to help our business sector, nonprofits, come up with a post-COVID economic development action plan,” Carson said. “We want to make sure we have a good business climate here.”

Carson left a final message regarding the successful partnership between the City of Davis and Healthy Davis Together. 

“I would just celebrate the fact that the partnership that our city has had with the campus and Healthy Davis Together has been a remarkable one, and I think it’s helped all of us,” Carson said. “It’s led to a situation where the campus can more or less fully reopen with in-person classes this fall. Undoubtedly, it’s saved lives both on and off campus in our community.”

Written By: Jelena Lapuz — city@theaggie.org


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