St. Charles Health System announced today that it has contributed $20,000 to the United Way of Deschutes County to fund part-time staff positions at Central Oregon 2-1-1.
A program designed to help individuals find the help they need among the myriad of nonprofit and government agencies and programs, Central Oregon 2-1-1 provides a single place to call for a comprehensive, current and accurate list of the resources available in the community. That single gateway to community services did not exist before 2-1-1, the three-digit telephone number that provides access to vital community service.
“Just as 9-1-1 is the core point of access for public safety, 2-1-1 has become the core point of access for community services,” said Ken Wilhelm, executive director of the United Way of Deschutes County. “Today, more than 80 percent of people in the U.S. and Oregon have access to 2-1-1.”
The Community Benefit funds will help fund part-time staff who will conduct marketing and outreach to community residents and partners, and collect and use Central Oregon 2-1-1 data to help inform the community on needed resources.
“The redesigned Community Benefit Department is working diligently to select programs and initiatives that align with St. Charles Health System’s strategic direction,” said Alisha Fehrenbacher, director of community strategies. “United Way of Deschutes County is a program that enhances the health of the underserved and vulnerable population of Central Oregon.”
Staff will also continue marketing and outreach of the FamilyWize Community Service Partnership— a national program established in 2005 to reduce the cost of prescriptions for people who are uninsured or whose health plans do not cover the cost of their medicines — and broadly distribute FamilyWize drug discount cards to local pharmacies, community partners and public sites.
For more information regarding St. Charles Health System’s Community Benefit program and funding application processes, please contact Maggie Olstedt, community benefit specialist, at 541-647-1765.