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Health Equity

Partnering for Health and Wellness Outside the Hospital

Evelyn Solis, of Bakersfield, never dreamed she would be someone “in need.” But after escaping an abusive relationship, she and her seven children found themselves starting over at Christmastime with nothing.

What she did have, though, was CityServe. Through CityServe, Solis and her kids received groceries, a Christmas tree and a new dining room table with enough space for them all to sit together as a family.

CityServe, a nonprofit organization that began in 2017 as a project of Canyon Hills Assembly of God, empowers local churches to connect with people who are hurting in their neighborhoods and help them meet some of their health needs, including food, clothing and necessary household supplies. Fifty churches and 30 nonprofit organizations have partnered with CityServe so far.

Recognizing a need in the Bakersfield community, Dignity Health provided a $25,000 grant to CityServe to help with the costs of transporting donated goods from storage warehouses to family homes throughout the area. This is one example of Dignity Health helping to connect community partners to meet various community needs. Another example is a recent $154,000 donation made to Operation BBQ Relief. This enabled 35,000 meals to be served daily around the holidays to people in need at the Bakersfield Homeless Center, St. Vincent de Paul Bakersfield, The Mission at Kern County and CityServe.

“Health and wellness truly begin at home,” said Robin Mangarin-Scott, vice president of marketing and communications for Dignity Health in Southern California. “At Dignity Health, we actively seek out community partners who can help extend our reach beyond the walls of our hospitals and provide resources for families before they need medical care. Organizations like CityServe help prevent illness by addressing some of the socioeconomic barriers to health, including access to nutritious food and consistent safe, warm shelter.”

“There is strength in numbers,” said Robin Robinson, community development and church engagement director for CityServe. “When the local business community comes alongside nonprofit organizations like this, that’s when we see transformation happen. Together, we can truly change the lives of families in need.”

And it shows. In partnership with Dignity Health, CityServe and its network have helped contribute to:

  • 15M+ Farmers to Families food boxes distributed
  • $510M+ worth of goods in-kind distributed
  • $749M+ in total resources distributed
  • 62M+ people served

It’s this kind of relationship building that is a central focus of Dignity Health and CityServe. “Through this partnership, we’re able to foster relationships and help empower transformation in our communities,” said Mangarin-Scott.