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ECS Responds to the Hepatitis A Outbreak in San Diego

10.23.17 | News

ECS Responds to the Hepatitis A Outbreak in San Diego

    In an effort to protect the clients we serve, as well as our staff and volunteers, ECS has been working closely with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency and following their guidelines.

    ECS Responds to the Hepatitis A Outbreak in San Diego

    Our agency serves nearly 1,000 chronically homeless individuals every year and our Central Regional Recovery Center (CERRC) and DUI ACCORD program serve adults who may be struggling with substance use disorders, two populations who have been disproportionately affected by the hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego. In an effort to protect the clients we serve, as well as our staff and volunteers, we have been working closely with the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency and following their guidelines. In March of this year, our Friend to Friend program has been participating in “Field Foot Teams” to provide vaccinations for homeless individuals living on the street. Our outreach workers join teams of two public health nurses and visit areas where homeless individuals are living.  A “go kit” with vaccinations, needles, gloves, alcohol wipes, band-aids and other supplies is loaded into a cart that doubles as a seat and in effect becomes a mobile vaccination clinic on wheels. Information and additional resources are available at the Friend to Friend clubhouse and restrooms are provided for all clients during open hours. Friend to Friend has also been hosting onsite vaccination clinics at the clubhouse. At the last clinic, 30 members and staff were vaccinated.

    Our CERCC program in City Heights held an on-site vaccination event in August. The program has also incorporated education about hepatitis A during orientation so all clients are aware of the countywide concern. Up to date information regarding the disease as well as additional resources are provided at the entrance to the program and in all the group meeting rooms. The CERCC program is prepared to coordinate vaccination events on a quarterly basis or as needed and works closely with the F2F program on their outreach efforts.

    Our ACCORD DUI program in El Cajon has incorporated more in-depth hepatitis A education in their programs and clients are encouraged to get vaccinated. Resources for vaccinations are given to all clients. Staff have all been vaccinated.

    At our Uptown Safe Haven program, a transitional residential facility for homeless adults with mental health disorders, an onsite vaccination clinic was held for both staff and residents in August and information and education is readily available to residents.

    We will continue to work closely with San Diego County and the City of San Diego to do all we can to keep our clients, staff, volunteers and the vulnerable populations of San Diego healthy.