Health & Wellness

Access to Health Services

Lestonnac Free ClinicSince 1979, Lestonnac Free Clinic’s mission has been to provide free primary medical, dental and mental health services to the uninsured. With this mission as a foundation, for the last 33 years they have sought opportunities to increase access to the medical services that will help ensure the health of our county’s poor. The once-modest clinic has now been transformed to include a specialty care hub for all community clinics in Orange County by offering over 20 specialty care services to their uninsured patients ranging from Neurology to Cardiology as well as ultra sound and X-ray diagnostics, offering classes that prevent chronic diseases, supplying the community with a food bank, and adding four walk-in clinics and two mobile clinics in impoverished areas.

In 2011, Lestonnac Free Clinic treated 8,708 patients (6,094 of those treated were new patients) with a total of 22,237 patient visits. Over the past 30 years, over 28,000 have been treated at the clinic in over 200,000 visits.

A kid and a dental hygenist.Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County uses prevention, treatment, advocacy, education and outreach to break down the barriers to oral health for Orange County children from birth through age 17.

The SmileMobile mobile dental clinic visits underserved schools to screen children for oral decay and provide preventative treatment, and the Healthy Smiles Community Outreach Team informs families about oral health. Healthy Smiles also provides educational workshops for dental providers.

In 2011, Healthy Smiles provided oral health education to over 15,000 children in public school classrooms and screened approximately 9,600 children. Notable partnerships include the Orange County Oral Health Collaborative (led by Healthy Smiles) and clinic projects with CHOC and SOS.

CelebratingThe Council on Aging Orange County serves more than 170,000 seniors, disabled adults, families and caregivers each year. As seniors and their families face challenging aging issues, the Council’s local programs protect and help older adults live to independently, access healthcare resources, and address the mental and physical effects of social isolation.

The Council’s highly trained and dedicated staff members are supported by equally passionate volunteers.  The Council on Aging’s volunteers and staff serve as advocates for the rights and dignity of 28,000 residents in over 1,000 nursing and assisted living homes through the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, save Orange County Medicare beneficiaries over $1.9 million in medical costs annually through the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP), provide educational seminars throughout the county, and provide 4,000 hours of companionship and social support each year to isolated, frail adults through the Friendly Visitor Program.

People in a medical office.Share Our Selves (SOS) provides comprehensive safety net services to struggling Orange County residents, ensuring a seamless system of care to those in need. SOS's programs include social services, medical and dental care, case management, and seasonal programs.

In June 2012, SOS was designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), increasing its scope of care to include all ages - from pediatrics to geriatrics. SOS has expanded its services through efficient collaborations. SOS has partnered with El Sol Science and Arts Academy in Santa Ana for the SOS-El Sol Wellness Center. It is the only HRSA funded Nurse Practitioner Clinic in the county and is a collaborative effort between SOS, El Sol, UCI Program in Nursing Science and Healthy Smiles for Kids. The recently opened SOS-PEACE Center Health Clinic is a partnership between SOS and Saddleback Church, located in Lake Forest in south OC.

In 2011, SOS provided 11,840 medical provider encounters, 6,790 dental provider encounters, 8,057 Financial Aid visits, 46,519 bags of food, 471 patient visits at the SOS-El Sol Wellness Center, and 6,915 children benefitted from SOS's Back to School and Adopt A Family Programs.


Kids in a gym.Latino Health Access (LHA) serves uninsured and under-served families in Orange County by training promotoras, or community workers, to educate their neighbors about diabetes, breast cancer, obesity, domestic violence, parenting, and other serious public health problems affecting the community.

LHA partners with government, businesses and community-based organizations to address the obesity epidemic. A very successful partnership has been established between LHA and Northgate Markets, which serve Hispanic communities across Southern California, to promote health and wellness. Northgate donated one of the four parcels needed by LHA to build a park for a low income community in Santa Ana.

In addition LHA advises and provides educational services to staff and clients of the market as part of Northgate’s program “Viva la Salud”. This program focuses on maintaining a traditional Latino diet and cooking food in healthier ways by featuring “100 Healthful Products” in market sales and specials, providing free health screenings, and scheduling a “cook’s day” featuring cooking demonstrations and information presented by dieticians.

A boy swimming in a pool.Dr. Riba’s Health Club (DrRHC) serves overweight and obese children in low income areas across Orange County where obesity is a serious concern.

Their wide variety of interventions include Health Club patient care, Parent-Child Feeding Interaction Therapy designed to treat dysfunctional family feeding dynamics, Fit ClubTM after school program, and Educational Programs conducted throughout the county for community service providers.

DrRHC is dedicated to reducing the rates of childhood obesity in Orange County through the implementation of unique and effective programs, which are consistent with an appropriate psychology in the approach to feeding children as well as overcoming barriers to good health. Their programs treat not only the physical issues of obesity, but the mental and psychological ones as well. In 2012, their programs will teach 3,000 at-risk children and families to live healthier lives and advocate for good health in their communities.

Kids with Medicine BallsIn 2008, St. Joseph Health launched the Healthy for Life campaign to provide children, youth, schools and communities with the tools and resources to help them achieve a healthier lifestyle with a multi-tiered approach which includes fitness, nutritional and lifestyle components.

As part of the campaign, SJH partnered with American Academy of Pediatrics to expand the school based program, Healthy for Life/PE4ME. More than 3,500 students at nearly 90 Orange County schools participate in this program, which was developed by pediatrician Dr. Mike Weiss. This is a free, curriculum-based physical education program designed to instill the importance of fitness and nutrition to obtain optimum and long-lasting health. Students participate in physical activity intensity lessons, strength training sessions and fitness classes at the preschool, elementary, middle and high school level and learn healthy nutrition education information from SJH hospital physicians and dietitians. The program enhances existing physical education and nutrition education taught in the schools by providing teacher training and age appropriate equipment. Grant funding by SJH enhances physical education in schools that lack adequate resources to provide an appropriate curriculum and age appropriate equipment. The goal is to encourage and reinforce healthy lifestyle behavior that will carry the children into healthy and fit adults. In 2012, the Orange County Department of Education is implementing the elementary schools with a modified, more cost effective and sustainable Healthy for Life model. The SJH is currently evaluating cost effective and sustainable ways to continue the preschool, middle and high school Healthy for Life programs beyond the 2013 school year.


A father and child.Since 1983, the Child Abuse Prevention Center’s programs have permanently and positively changed the lives of more than 250,000 children and their parents. They currently offer a variety of programs that address the issues of child abuse and family violence, and the underlying social, environmental, and medical factors that can contribute to this devastating social issue.

In-Home Parent Empowerment programs deliver critically-needed, life-altering parenting strategies and education to struggling families in their own homes. At the heart of these year-long programs are intensive, one-on-one educational sessions designed to interrupt the cycle of abuse and keep families together.

A mother and child.The vision of Human Options is a world in which no woman or child should ever feel afraid in her/his home. Through research, education and the art of listening to the needs of domestic violence survivors, Human Options has grown from a small grassroots agency to a multi-service, countywide organization that works to break the cycle of domestic violence at every stage. Human Options' work on the impact of domestic violence on children and on teaching teens about healthy relationships offers a unique opportunity to change the lives of the next generation.
Human Options programs include a 24-Hour Crisis Hotline, an Emergency Shelter, Second Step Transitional Housing, Third Step Independent Living, a Center for Children and Families, Safe Options for Seniors, and Prevention/Community Education for youth and community leaders.

Since 1981, Human Options' highly trained, experienced professionals and volunteer staff have served more than 25,600 individuals in counseling and shelter programs, responded to more than 51,000 hotline crisis calls, and reached more than 257,000 individuals through prevention programs. Independent research by university based academics has established that over 90% of graduates of Human Options' emergency shelter and transitional living program are violence free one year or more after graduation.

A child.Laura’s House provides a safe haven for families experiencing the effects of domestic violence in need of emergency shelter, support, education and counseling in Orange County and beyond.
Through comprehensive domestic violence programs including an emergency shelter and counseling center, victims of domestic violence receive the time and the tools necessary to live healthy, independent, and violence-free lives.

Over the past eighteen years, Laura’s House has provided shelter and support services to more than 3,488 battered women and children and counseling, life skills education and legal assistance to over 40,305 persons.

In 2011, 71% of clients upon exit from the shelter program secured safe permanent and/or transitional housing. 87% of battered women improved their self-esteem and cognitive coping skills and 78% of child victims exhibited improvement in post-traumatic stress symptoms, anxiety and depression.

A woman writing on a poster board.OC Human Relations’ award-winning BRIDGES School Program improves inter-group and inter-ethnic relations on school campuses by partnering with schools and communities to create, advocate for and sustain a safe, inclusive school climate that respects society’s diversity. BRIDGES addresses the harms of stereotyping, the debilitating results of intolerance and the dehumanization that occurs when people make judgments based on pre-conceived beliefs or fears, and how that leads to bullying and violence.

Students, as well as teachers and parents, participate in BRIDGES and learn skills such as group facilitation, conflict resolution and the foundations of human relations including empathy and respect for differences. Students take action through positive leadership roles, public speaking and organizing school-wide initiatives to create a more positive and inclusive learning environment for all students.

During the 2011-12 school year, BRIDGES reached more than 38,000 students, 1,485 teachers, and 266 parents through the year-long program in Orange County.