EVERETT, Wash., August 5, 2023—Connect Casino Road and Coordinated Care established a new collaboration this year to help immigrant families with low incomes navigate the complicated health insurance and healthcare system here in the US. Once per week, a bilingual Coordinated Care representative is onsite to work with families who are in Connect Casino Road’s case management program as well as Casino Road community members. This service is provided at no cost to the families.
The new partnership between Coordinated Care and Connect Casino Road helps families with a variety of health-related concerns, including signing up for health insurance, application assistance for help with unpaid hospital bills, finding a healthcare provider and accessing resources for uninsured folks such as food, transportation, housing, job training and education. Connect Casino Road operates a family development case management program, and often these staff are the ones who connect local families with Ivonne Radovich, the onsite senior community relations staff member from Coordinated Care. But the service is available to any Casino Road community member on a walk-in basis. Being bilingual in Spanish is an important component of this partnership. Indeed, in one part of the Casino Road neighborhood, 76% of residents who speak another language at home use Spanish. Between onsite and telephone consultations, Radovich reports helping 40 families over the course of just one month.
“Having someone in my own language explain how my health insurance works was great because I was able to ask questions without worrying that I was not going to be [able to] understand,” says one Casino Road family.
This partnership is one of many ways Coordinated Care supports this community. This past year they also provided a grant to sponsor Connect Casino Road’s family development case management program, as well as supporting the summer carnival and soccer camp.
“Our mission is to break down systemic barriers so our community can thrive,” says Alvaro Guillen, Director of Connect Casino Road. “Having support for the immigrant families in our programs, particularly those who are undocumented, is especially critical for healthcare because the system is complex and dissimilar to many other countries. We are very grateful for Coordinated Care’s broad support of our work and this community.”
“We understand that healthcare is complicated and is confusing for anyone,” said Beth Johnson, president and CEO at Coordinated Care. “By having expert staff available to answer questions in someone’s preferred language, we can get individuals closer to achieving health and wellbeing. And healthier individuals create more vibrant families and communities.”
The Casino Road neighborhood in South Everett is distinct; it is known for its high levels of community engagement, but also for the higher-than-average poverty rates (up to 36% when children are included). Nearly one in four residents are immigrants, and 80% of the student body at the local elementary school identify as a race other than white. Data from 2021 also shows that around 3,000 residents do not have health insurance coverage. This figure is likely an undercount due to the high number of undocumented community members who do not respond to the U.S. Census and also excludes those who are underinsured.
About Connect Casino Road: Launched in 2017, Connect Casino Road is the backbone organization of a 24+ partner collaborative that is working with residents of the Casino Road neighborhood to achieve their vision for thriving families and a resilient community. CCR operates the Village on Casino Road community center as well as the “All Families Are Ready” culturally relevant case management program.