Imperial, California - Today, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors authorized the Public Health Department to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Imperial County Asthma Linkages Project.  In an effort to improve the quality of life in the community, the Imperial County Public Health Department, in collaboration with the Imperial County Local Health Authority Commission (LHAC), is seeking proposals that would implement new or enhance current programs designed to improve the health for Medi-Cal beneficiaries with asthma.

“This is an exciting opportunity to support the efforts of programs in the community that are working to decrease the burden of asthma by researching and implementing strategies to improve how asthma is managed in the county,” said Robin Hodgkin, Director of the Imperial County Public Health Department.  “Imperial County has the highest rates of asthma hospitalizations and ER visits for children in the state.  It is evident that more needs to be done to address this health disparity in our community.”

The Imperial County Asthma Linkages Project is a three-year initiative funded by California Health and Wellness through the Local Health Plan Agreement with the County.  The goal of the project is to improve health outcomes for Medi-Cal participants with asthma using best practice approaches, policies, and/or environmental change strategies that align with Healthy People 2020 asthma objectives.  The RFP awardees are required to accomplish at least one of the following objectives, reduce hospitalizations for asthma, reduce emergency department visits for asthma, reduce the proportion of persons with asthma who miss school or work days, and increase the proportion of persons with asthma who receive formal patient education.

“Asthma is plaguing our community and we need to attack it on all fronts,” said District 1 Supervisor John Renison, who is also a member of the LHAC.  “We are committed to forming partnerships with asthma organizations to educate our community on the adverse effects the disease has on a person’s health and providing them with the proper tools to effectively manage the respiratory disease.”

The objectives reinforce many of the priorities outlined in the LHAC’s three-year strategic plan for July 2015 through June 2018.  The LHAC’s priorities include; health status improvements, beneficiary and stakeholder engagement, health plan performance monitoring, community awareness and education, and health authority governance.  It is the LHAC’s mission to work with key stakeholders to advocate for access to comprehensive health care services for Medi-Cal beneficiaries, to promote the long term viability of “safety net” providers, to increase prevention, education and early intervention services, and to monitor and publicize the performance of Medi-Cal managed care plans.

A maximum of $500,000 per year will be allocated to support two to three projects that best meet the Asthma Linkages Project’s goal to improve the health and quality of life for Medi-Cal beneficiaries with asthma.  The maximum amount available per award is $250,000 a year, for a maximum total of $750,000 over a three year project period based on performance and the availability of funding.   Agreements with the agencies or organizations selected for funding will be one-year agreements, with second or third year agreements executed for projects meeting the milestones identified in the project.

For those interested in submitting an RFP, an Applicant Assistance Workshop will take place on January 14, 2016 at the Imperial County Public Health Department Training Center located at 935 Broadway Street in El Centro from 4:00 P.M. until 5:30 P.M.  For more information about the workshop and to access the RFP, please visit the Imperial County Public Health Department website.