Community Health Improvement Services

Prevention, wellness and health promotion efforts

A doctor and nurse talk with a woman in a patient care setting, similar to the interactions between patients and providers who are part of the nurse navigator program at Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Prevention, wellness and health promotion efforts

Community health improvement efforts at Scripps Health include community health education and prevention services. Such services do not generate patient bills, although they may involve a nominal fee.

In fiscal year 2018, Scripps invested more than $10.2 million in services aimed at improving community health, subsidized health services and community building activities.

To learn more, view the 2019 Community Benefit Report. (PDF, 12 MB)

Prevention and wellness

Scripps has developed a series of prevention and wellness programs designed to educate people about prevention, early detection and treatment. Our programs include:

  • Cancer care
  • Heart care
  • Diabetes
  • Health behaviors such as flu vaccination and smoking cessation
  • Substance abuse
  • Maternal health

Community health services and programs

Read the following stories to learn more about the steps Scripps is taking to keep the community healthy:

Oncology nurse navigators guide patients through care

When someone learns they have cancer, their life can change in an instant. In addition to concerns about their future and how the disease will affect their loved ones, cancer patients may suddenly find themselves navigating multiple appointments, tests and treatments, as well as logistical questions and emotional issues. It’s no wonder that a cancer diagnosis often feels overwhelming.

To help patients manage these challenges, Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center has been expanding its Nurse Navigator Program. Nurses who are specially trained in oncology (the study and treatment of cancer), nurse navigators provide support and encouragement to help patients through their cancer journey into survivorship. Navigators contact patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer, ensure that they understand all tests and procedures, and let them know what to expect from their care. They also provide education, help coordinate appointments and facilitate communication between patients and their care teams. All of this helps empower patients to make informed decisions and play an active role in their care.

In addition, nurse navigators provide compassionate guidance by helping patients deal with treatment side effects and identifying support groups, classes and events, and other community resources. They also offer family members and caregivers support to guide their loved ones to the best possible outcome.

Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center currently has nine nurse navigators partnering with patients and plans to add three in the coming year.

Parkinson's event empowers hundreds

It was a day of hope and inspiration for hundreds of San Diegans living with Parkinson’s disease (PD).

In November 2018, more than 300 guests learned new ways to take control of their health at the Empowerment for Parkinson’s Day at Marina Village. From the benefits of exercise and diet change to massage, acupuncture and even music therapy, attendees left the event armed with knowledge to help make positive changes.

Empowerment for Parkinson’s was the culmination of work that began 10 years ago. Several Scripps physicians and employees decided to create a motivational day of exercise, confidence-building and education that included neurologists, psychologists, integrative doctors, exercise specialists, physical therapists and more. From this, the annual Keep Moving with Parkinson’s Bootcamp was born.

Following the May 2017 bootcamp, the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego (PASD) asked the team to share their model to create an even larger-scale event. The partnership with PASD and others opened the door to more than triple the amount of people reached in one day who discovered options to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.

Trauma holds first San Diego County lifeguard education conference

The trauma catchment area for Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla includes most of the San Diego County coastline — and lifeguards are often the first responders to beach-related emergencies.

In July 2018, the trauma department at Scripps La Jolla hosted the First San Diego County Lifeguard Education Conference. More than 150 permanent and seasonal lifeguards representing all 11 San Diego County lifeguard agencies learned vital information about topics including beach injuries and illnesses, drowning resuscitation, shark attacks, sand entrapment and spinal cord injuries, as well as skin cancer prevention tips for the lifeguards themselves.

“You did an incredible job and it is so appreciated,” said Mike Silvestri, Lifeguard Supervisor from California State Parks.

The trauma department plans to continue this partnership to provide education and help lifeguards further identify opportunities for community outreach and injury prevention.

Scripps provides hepatitis A vaccines to at-risk populations

Scripps Health builds awareness of disaster preparedness and actively responds to events to affect change at the community level. Following the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, Scripps developed a system-wide disaster preparedness program and moved quickly to integrate disaster preparedness throughout the organization’s operations. The Scripps Medical Response Team (SMRT) arose from these efforts, and prepares Scripps to respond to emergencies at local, state, national and international levels.

In Fiscal Year 2018, when San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer asked Scripps to help address the Hepatitis A outbreak, the Scripps SMRT team worked directly with city and county public health officials to make vaccinations accessible to individuals at risk of the highly contagious virus.

SMRT teams including physicians, nurses and support personnel administered vaccinations and provided education on Hepatitis A at three county-sponsored housing sites over multiple dates and times. Each site housed numerous occupants, many of whom had risk factors including homelessness or substance abuse recovery. Occupants were notified in advance that we would be offering vaccinations without cost. For their own protection, all volunteers were required to show proof of immunity to Hepatitis A or get vaccinated prior to the outreach.

SMRT volunteers vaccinated approximately 100 people against Hepatitis A; Scripps staff then entered their vaccination history into the San Diego Immunization Program webpage to track all individuals who received the vaccine. This helped prevent unnecessary revaccination of people who came to local emergency departments and primary care offices for care.

Because the risk factors associated with the outbreak persist in our community, Scripps employee health offers Hep A vaccinations to all employees considered at risk, especially those who work in the emergency department, behavioral health and food service.