Health and Wellness
MENTAL HEALTH
The Los Angeles area has several mental health facilities. The largest is Department of State Hospitals (DSH)–Metropolitan LA, an acute psychiatric facility located in Norwalk. Utilizing the Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Model of mental health treatment, DSH–Metropolitan LA offers its services to residents throughout California. The hospital is easily accessible from several freeways. This provides easy access to families and friends of patients treated within the facility. The number of patients receiving treatment at DSH–Metropolitan LA averages around 670. The 1,500 administrative, clinical and ancillary staff of DSH–Metropolitan LA provide a variety of individualized modes of treatment designed to promote maximum recovery from psychiatric illness.

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
In Los Angeles, alternative medicine is recognized as a key component of personal wellness. Alternative medicine generally includes acupuncture, massage, hypnotherapy and other non-Western medicinal practices. Holistic medicine treats the patient as a whole, not just a select health issue. For example, Energy 24/7 in Venice offers many services and payment options for revitalizing your body, mind and spirit. Visitors can reserve both individual sessions and multiple-session packages as well as custom programs that will help achieve wellness goals.

HEALTHCARE INITIATIVES
The California Department of Health Care Services created a Health Care Coverage Initiative in 10 selected counties, including Los Angeles County, during Fiscal Year (FY) 2007–08 through FY 2009–10 to expand health care coverage for eligible low-income, uninsured individuals using an annual allotment of federal funds from the Safety Net Care Pool (SNCP). Selected counties certified their public expenditures to claim federal funding to reimburse their health care services costs. The selected counties received federal reimbursement for administrative costs associated with the implementation and ongoing administration of the coverage initiative programs.

The Children’s Health Initiative (CHI) of Greater Los Angeles is a public-private coalition seeking to keep kids healthy and ensure that every child has access to health care coverage. The CHI convened in May 2003 by L.A. Care Health Plan, The California Endowment, and the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. The Coalition is comprised of more than 50 organizations including health care providers, private employers, business leaders, advocacy groups, foundations, public health officials, labor unions and educators. The CHI’s approach to expanding health care coverage has three components:
  • Increase enrollment of children in public programs Medi-Cal and Healthy Families.
  • Provide a three-year expansion of the Healthy Kids product to children ages 6–18.
  • Pursue policy solutions to sustain affordable health coverage for children over time.

L.A. Care is the largest public health plan in America, dedicated to helping Los Angeles County residents obtain health care for their families from doctors and other health care providers who understand and respect them. L.A. Care Health Plan is governed by 13 board members, representing medical and health care professionals as well as Medi-Cal consumers.

SELECTING A PHYSICIAN
Once you’re settled in to your new community, it’s important that you select a doctor. Following are a few ideas and suggestions to begin the process:
  • Consult your company’s health plan and its list of preferred providers that will accept the company’s insurance.
  • Ask family, friends, neighbors, coworkers or professionals with whom you’re in contact. Find out what they like best and least about their doctors.
  • Use hospital physician-referral services, but keep in mind these services refer you to the doctors on staff but do not offer information on the quality of care they provide.
  • To search for practitioners in California, check the state of California Medical Licensing Service (www.californiamedlicense.com). Here you can verify that a medical doctor, physician assistant or practitioner of respiratory care has a state medical license. If you have questions, call them at (850) 325-1400.
  • Check the DoctorFinder service of the American Medical Association at www.ama-assn.org. DoctorFinder provides you with basic professional information on virtually every licensed physician in the United States, which includes more than 814,000 doctors. You can search by doctor name, location or specialty.
  • Make sure the doctor is board certified. All U.S. board-certified physicians are listed with the American Board of Medical Specialties (www.abms.org), or you can inquire at (866) 275-2267.
  • Other online resources, including HealthGrades (www.healthgrades.com) or DoctorDirectory.com (www.doctordirectory.com), provide search by name, specialty and location.

DENTAL CARE
Recent studies have pointed out the importance of proper oral hygiene in preventing serious illnesses. Visiting a dentist on a regular basis, at least once a year, is an essential part of maintaining a healthy body. It is also recommended to keep your teeth clean by visiting a dental hygienist at least twice a year to maintain oral health and prevent tooth decay.

   
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