The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara announces the start of its Health Access and Care Coordination (HACC) Project, a year-long multi-agency collaborative, designed to improve access to primary care and behavioral health services for newly eligible MediCal recipients residing in affordable housing.

The collaboration involves New Beginnings Counseling Center, PathPoint, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics, Doctors Without Walls, Doctors Assisting Seniors at Home (DASH) and Vertical Change.

Funded through a grant from CenCal Health, the HACC Project is part of the Access Coordination and Expansion (ACE) Initiative, aimed at expanding access to health care through the coordination of primary and behavioral health services, for individuals that are newly covered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“The HACC Project provides our organization with an unprecedented opportunity to address the health care needs of the low-income residents we serve in the community, with an aim towards improved health outcomes,” said Rob Fredericks, executive director and CEO, Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.

“The Affordable Care Act goes a long way toward removing barriers to health care and we appreciate that our partners at CenCal Health recognize this need. All too often the health needs of low-income community members go unmet.

“This initiative will provide the low-income households we serve with access to a variety of resources, including health and wellness activities, linkages to primary and preventative care as well as vital health screenings that will ensure improved health for the clients,” he said.

The HACC collaborative will help facilitate the following for MediCal expansion members, with a primary focus on adults ages 19-65:

» Increase access to mental health and immediate care services through the development of a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary team;

» Provide health education and wellness programs;

» Enhance care coordination across primary and behavioral health care delivery systems by assisting in health care navigation, linkages to formal services, arranging appointments, transportation to appointments, follow-up calls, and other disease management activities;

» Provide home visits and pop-up clinics for physical and mental health assessments, and preliminary treatment;

» Educate participants on how to avoid readmission to the hospital for basic health care needs;

» Connect participants with area health-care providers to help them establish lasting relationships.

Hannah Greenberg, health services coordinator, will be organizing and leading the HACC collaborative. She received a M.S. in healthcare administration from the UC San Francisco, and previously worked to coordinate the health needs of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Santa Barbara community.

The HACC Project will be holding a free Community Health Fair, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday Feb. 25, at Franklin Neighborhood Center, 1136 E Montecito St, Santa Barbara. Attendees can receive health screenings, fitness classes, health education and healthy food, as well as prizes and giveaways.

To learn more about the HACC project or Community Health Fair, contact Greenberg at 897-1054 or

For more on the Housing Authority, visit

— Angel Pacheco for Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.