Health For All, a local, non-profit health organization started in 1980 to medically screen and immunize low-income minority children in downtown Sacramento. By the beginning of 1981 approximately 125 children each month were screened and immunized. Reimbursement for the work came from the Child Health and Disability prevention program of Sacramento County. The entire budget for Health For All in the year was $60,000. Because of the demonstrated need and success of this local, downtown program, Dr. Ikeda incorporated Health For All as a non-profit health corporation in 1981.
Today this non-profit health organization delivers over $2.5 million in Child Health and Disability Prevention along with Medi-cal services each year, not only for poor kids but also frail, low-income, elderly adults.
Dr. Ikeda states, “The success of Health For All is totally dependent on the good will and effort of the entire Sacramento community. At the beginning downtown, it was through the help of the Asian Community Center and the private business and professional community in that area.”
“Today with the addition of two school site clinics, one in Meadowview on the grounds of the Freeport Elementary school on Meadowview Road and the other on Las Palmas Avenue in North Sacramento between Noralto Elementary school and the Grant Adult Skills Center, it takes the effort of not only the business and professional community but also the school districts, parent teacher groups, church and service groups, local and county government, and their political representatives.”
“I have no doubt that when communities come together, no problem is unsolvable. This includes major complex issues such as poverty, good physical and mental health, and the creation of functional families.”
In 1982 with the surplus of $6,000 from the first years reimbursement, the staff of Health For All elected to start a downtown Adult Day Health Care Center. This daytime, tightly structured program, reimbursed through Medi-Cal, is a medical-social health program to keep low income, frail elderly and disabled adults independent and out of institutions. These individuals by coming to the program from one to five times per week through a doctor’s referral, are able to remain functioning, productive, and independent. A team of health and social service professionals individualize a program for each participant to keep them alert and fit for independence.
Now that this program has been functioning downtown for fifteen years, Dr. Ikeda can tell you through personal experience that participants keep productive as family members and community members until the very end.
“My father spent the last 18 months of his 87 years in the program. He was one of the few private pay patients in the program. He came twice a week, and gladly paid for it himself out of his Social Security check,” relates Dr. Ikeda. “He remained active and productive in that last year and a half of his life, content with his entire family around him. On his very best day at the center…that night he chose to die peacefully. All of us should be as lucky as this.”