Author: Shai Nielson

Priscilla Catingub

As a licensed Vocational Nurse for almost a decade and a soon-to-be recipient of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Chamberlain University, Priscilla Catingub has been appointed as the Administrator for Joshua’s House.

“Throughout my life, I have pushed my abilities to be able to grow as an individual and as a nurse,” Catingub said. “Although the bulk of my healthcare experience has stemmed from working for UC Davis Health at varying capacities, my passion for the community has never escaped me and I have worked part time for various residential care facilities for the elderly during my full-time employment with the health system.”

While preparing for her degree’s community health rotation, Catingub met Joshua’s House’s founder and Executive Director, Dr. Marlene M. von Friederichs-Fitzwater. Catingub immediately read up on every aspect of Joshua’s House from its story of origin to its blueprints and researched data and information about homelessness in Sacramento.

“I was blind to this disparity and wanted to know more,” Catingub said. “My involvement with Joshua’s House was organic in that I was constantly thinking of ways to help and be more involved.”

Her research and motivation led her to help promote Joshua’s House events and serve on its Policy & Procedures Committee before accepting a much larger role as Joshua’s House’s Administrator. In this role, Catingub will maintain operations, ensure that laws and regulations are followed, and promote an environment of harmony and serenity in the home.

“Our residents will have been homeless for more than six months and then enter our home knowing this will be the last home they will know,” Catingub said. “That is a very powerful thought and I am extremely humbled and blessed to be someone that can show these individuals the kind of compassion, respect, and love that anyone at the end of their life should be afforded.”

Catingub has completed all the necessary training required to be an Administrator of a residential care facility and passed the California State Administrator Exam.

“I am truly honored to be a part of this mission,” Catingub said. “I will continue to expand my knowledge to ensure that our residents are cared for and respected to the upmost integrity.”

River City Medical Group (RCMG) is a “progressive Independent Physician Association (IPA) uniquely dedicated to serving the Medi-Cal population” and they contract with over 1,600 network physicians who serve approximately 600 provider and clinic locations throughout the greater Sacramento area.

“We are owned and operated by practicing physicians and our Board of Directors is made up of practicing doctors,” Janice Milligan, Vice President of Community Relations & Program Development at River City Medical Group, said.

According to Amanda Gray, Marketing & Communications at River City Medical Group, “we have dedicated and experienced associates who handle claims, conduct training, and provide resource development for provider offices. The goal is to help our doctors focus on providing health care.”

As the only exclusively Medi-Cal medical group in the area, RCMG serves over 180,000 Medi-Cal members through their contracts with four of the participating Sacramento GMC health plans – Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net and Molina.

“The reason the doctors came together was they recognized that in Sacramento there were large communities of people who were having difficulty accessing culturally competent care,” Milligan said.

From this stemmed RCMG’s mission, which is “to recognize and meet the needs of our diverse cultural and socio-economic communities while treating our members with compassion and respect. We strive to provide quality health care, using our resources responsibly to benefit our patients,” Gray said.

RCMG stands out as one of the largest Medi-Cal IPAs in Northern California and they work closely with their Sacramento network, including Peachtree, One Community Health, SNAHC, Wellspace, HALO, Sacramento Family Medical Centers, Whole Health Community Clinic, and Elica Health Centers.

“Our Medical Directors and nurses work with Sutter Hospitals, Dignity Health (Mercy), UC Davis, Kaiser Permanente, Adventist, and many of the Bay Area hospitals to coordinate the myriad of healthcare services our patients need,” Gray said. “As an integral part of the Sacramento community, RCMG works collaboratively with many community-based organizations who share our passion to bring healthcare resources to underserved communities.”

This kind of collaboration is what sparked a relationship between River City Medical Group and Joshua’s House.

“RCMG coordinates hospice services for our members experiencing terminal illness and we recognize that Joshua’s House is a much-needed resource in our community. Our doctors see patients who are terminally ill and for those patients who are experiencing homelessness many hospice programs have not been practical. Joshua’s House will fulfill the true definition of hospice for these patients,” Gray said.

“In Sacramento and in every community in California, we have a long way to go when it comes to helping people who are homeless participate in their care by mitigating so many of the social barriers and behavioral health barriers,” Milligan said. “I can’t imagine anything that’s more rewarding than bringing together all of these resources for doctors to help their patients who have a tough time participating in their healthcare.”

With a mission to transform lives and a vision to set the standard as a place that provides quality care in a supportive community, One Community Health is succeeding as a leader for health care services in Sacramento.

The clinic originally started in 1989 as the Center for AIDS Research, Education and Services (CARES) in an apartment with one provider and one nurse, but in 2015 it became a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Today, One Community Health provides a full range of services for Sacramento County, including medical and dental care, substance abuse treatment, nutrition education, and mental health services.

“We provide all these services in a single location, so we are able to reach out and pull more people in who have a need,” One Community Health CEO Christy Ward said. “It’s really wonderful when you hear some of these individuals’ stories and hear about the impact that even small things have on them as an individual.”

Ward joined the clinic in May 2016 after leaving her position as the Chief Executive Officer at the Multnomah County Health Department in her long-time home of Portland, Oregon. Although she had never been to Sacramento, she recognized what One Community Health was providing for the community.

“At all levels of the organization, in the clinic as well as the board of directors, everyone wants to give back to the community and they want to grow and provide services for more people,” Ward said.

For One Community Health, that sometimes means going beyond addressing just the medical concerns.

“We want to achieve the best health possible for each individual person,” Ward said. “We’re thinking of the social determinants of health, like food and security, housing, safety, and those types of things. We try to take each person and identify their barriers and help to sort through those as well as we’re able to.”

Ward believes the best way to help the community is to make sure people know One Community Health is there for them.

“We will always see somebody regardless of ability to pay. We’re here and we’re always going to be here,” Ward said.

One Community Health has seen many recent expansions to help them achieve their goal of always being there for as many people as possible. In December, they opened a new clinic in the Arden Arcade area. On Jan. 22, they expanded their clinic in Midtown from 17 medical exam rooms to 42 rooms and three dental chairs to nine chairs. They also added a full-time podiatrist, a full-time chiropractor, and women’s health experts and have a goal for 2018 to hire more staff and providers and add acupuncture and other specialties.

Ward also serves on the Board of Directors for HCRI, Inc./Joshua’s House.