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Got Health Insurance?

Campus Students Reach Out, with 75,000 Leaflets, to Medically Uninsured City Residents

By Cathy Cockrell, Public Affairs
Posted March 1, 2000

Campus student volunteers are helping to fan out through the city of Berkeley to distribute 75,000 leaflets to individuals, businesses and organizations. The leaflets target medically uninsured in Berkeley -- especially children and their families -- with the message that Berkeley is committed to ensuring access to quality health care for its residents.

The citywide campaign, launched Feb.14 by the Mayor's Task Force on the Uninsured, hopes to assist many of the estimated 12,000 medically uninsured Berkeley residents -- 4,000 of them children -- to obtain health coverage through Medi-Cal, Healthy Families and other existing programs for low and moderate-income families.

Trained Berkeley students are currently screening calls from local residents responding to the leafletting blitz. The campus hopes to recruit 50 more undergrads to help out for the March 18 outreach grande finale: door-to-door leaflet distribution.

The city task force, which includes campus representatives from University Health Services and the School of Public Health, has been meeting for more than two years on what can be done locally to address the issue of health care coverage. Health policy and management graduate student Jenny Wang -- a member of the task force whose family recently lost health coverage when her father lost a job -- is staffing the outreach project. "The collaboration between the university, city health department, LifeLong Medical Care, Alta Bates, Kaiser, Alameda Alliance for Health and local policy-makers is key to ensuring access to quality health care for everyone," Wang says. "Each organization has committed to sharing time, creativity, hard work, money and other resources, such as phone lines."

Following the outreach campaign, the task force plans to collaborate at the county level to explore an innovative, affordable health insurance plan to cover those who are still "left out" of quality health care.



March 1-7, 2000 (Volume 28, Number 23)
Copyright 2000, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the
Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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