MOMS Orange County CEO, Pamela Pimentel accepts the 2009 CalOptima Safety Net Award in Honor of Mary K. Dewane. Pictured with (L to R): Julie Nguyen (Office of Senator Lou Correa), Javiera Cartagena (Office of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez), Pamela Pimentel and Richard Chambers, Chief Executive Officer of CalOptima
MOMS Orange County was one of four organizations to receive the 2009 CalOptima Safety Net Award in Honor of Mary K. Dewane in the amount of $25,000. Selected from a group of 33 nominations (the largest number in the history of the award), MOMS Orange County was recognized for its efforts to provide access to prenatal care for low-income women at risk for poor birth and maternal health outcomes. Other honorees included Abrazar, Inc., Children’s Health Initiative of Orange County and Share Our Selves. In February 2004, the CalOptima Board of Directors approved the creation of an award in the name of Mary K. Dewane, CalOptima’s first Chief Executive Officer, to be awarded annually in recognition of past accomplishments or achievements that enhance access to quality health care for vulnerable populations in Orange County.
The awards were presented at the CalOptima Community Alliances Conference on July 23, 2009, at California State University Fullerton. Organized by 30 CalOptima partners with attendance of more than 350 participants, the conference encouraged exchange of information, learning and networking opportunities between community-based organizations, health care providers, policy makers and community health advocates. MOMS Orange County CEO, Pamela Pimentel, was on hand to accept the award.
“MOMS Orange County has worked closely with CalOptima’s individual health provider networks for many years to ensure that their members receive early access to prenatal support services”, Pamela says. “We are honored to accept this award which pays tribute to the improved birth and maternal outcomes of our women and children in Orange County.”
In January 2008, MOMS Orange County and CalOptima entered into a unique collaboration which referred members to MOMS Orange County directly from CalOptima rather than from Health Provider Networks and individual physician offices. The result was an earlier entry of women into MOMS Orange County services and a subsequent improvement of birth outcomes for CalOptima members, as compared to the at-risk low-income population in Orange County. This partnership was the first of its kind in California between a public managed health care agency and a community-based organization.
In 1995, the Orange County Board of Supervisors established CalOptima as a County Organized Health System (COHS) plan to deliver services to Medi-Cal beneficiaries in Orange County. Today, CalOptima provides services to more than 330,000 Orange County residents through physician and hospital networks, which include more than 5,000 primary and specialty care physicians and more than 25 hospitals.
Picture courtesy of CalOptima