July 15, 2020
The Latest News from CalOptima
From CalOptima's Population Health Management Department
Nutrition and Healthy Food Options During COVID-19
Nutrition is important, especially when we are trying to fight viruses like COVID-19. When we are healthy, our immune system can get rid of many sicknesses or prevent them from becoming worse. But having enough food to eat on a regular basis has been a struggle for many.

Here are some ways to get affordable and nutritious food at a lower cost:

  1. Buy natural food such as beans, rice, potatoes, vegetables and fresh chicken. They are nutritious and cheaper than processed or pre-prepared foods.
  2. Buy foods that are in season for peak vitamins and minerals. They will taste better and cost less.
  3. Buy food at big discount stores such as local, ethnic or 99¢ stores.
  4. Buy food in bulk and split costs with friends or neighbors.
  5. Plant common food such as squash, which can grow in a container with just some soil and water.

There are many resources throughout the county to help single adults and families, whether the need is a one-time emergency or a monthly distribution. 2-1-1 Orange County OC has the most updated list of food banks, soup kitchens, after school and home delivery meal programs. Call 2-1-1 or click here for more details.
For longer term support, CalFresh and WIC can benefit low-income individuals. WIC is for pregnant women and children up to age five. CalFresh and WIC provide a monthly stipend to buy food such as fresh fruit, vegetables or milk at a supermarket or restaurant. To check eligibility or to sign up, call 2-1-1 today.
From Community Partner
2-1-1 Orange County
2‑1‑1 Orange County (OC) is a free 24/7 information and referral agency that connects the community to thousands of health and human services. If you or someone you know is looking for local information or resources, below are several ways to access it:

Since the start of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the community need for health and human services has more than doubled. Many have experienced a reduction in work hours or unemployment, putting financial strain on households. Food and meal needs have had the most profound increase by over 600% compared to the same time last year — this includes emergency food, prepared meals, grab and go meals for children and CalFresh applications.
As we move into the summer months, 2‑1‑1 OC manages information for the seasonal Summer Food Service Program, so that school-aged children can get nutritious meals or snacks when school is out. This season to make sure that no child goes hungry, meals are provided in a “grab and go” contactless method through more than 25 designated locations throughout the county.
For details on your closest location to meet your food needs, call 2‑1‑1. Click here for a list of summer food resources.
Find Meals for Kids When Schools are Closed
To ensure that children who rely on free or reduced-price meals at school are able to get the nutrition they need when schools are closed, a new interactive map was developed by the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services. Additionally, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides free meals to kids and teens in low-income areas.

 Enter an address in the interactive map and the results show nearby locations. Filters include miles and summer meal sites.  Click  here   to access the map or you can also text “Summer Meals” to 97779 or call 1-866-348-6479 to find a site near you.
From Community Partner
Community Action Partnership of Orange County
Since 1965, Community Action Partnership of Orange County (CAP OC) has fought to end poverty by providing people with what they need, when and where they need it. By addressing immediate needs and empowering communities, CAP OC is able to help families, seniors and individuals through a myriad of services. CAP OC’s largest program, the OC Food Bank helps end food insecurity in Orange County. The OC Food Bank operates a monthly Senior Food Box program and the Mobile Food Trolley Clementine , which distributes fresh produce and staple items to low-income families at site locations throughout Orange County. More than 300 local partner agencies also depend on the OC Food Bank to help distribute food to people in need.
CAP OC also operates three Family Resource Centers. At Anaheim Independencia and El Modena Family Resource Center in Orange, families in these communities who are signed up for the program can receive emergency food. At Southwest Community Center in Santa Ana, the services include a daily hot meal program for individuals who are homeless or precariously housed. 

In addition to addressing food insecurity, CAP OC also provides health, wellness and nutrition education. Through its Move More, Eat Healthy campaign, CAP OC offers nutrition education outreach in the cities of Buena Park, Placentia, Fullerton and La Habra. The goal is to help OC residents achieve and maintain a sustainable healthy lifestyle and create an overall culture of health.

CAP OC also provides other wraparound support services such as utility assistance, Marriage and Family Program, Financial Empowerment workshops, weatherization services, support for seniors, youth programs and much more. Their goal is to help end poverty in Orange County.
To learn about CAP OC services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic click here . To learn about CAP OC, please visit www.capoc.org or e-mail info@capoc.org .  
From CalOptima's Behavioral Health Department
CalOptima Members Can Get
Member Health Services
COVID-19 continues to keep us from returning to what we knew in the past as “normal.” Think about the activities and social interactions that have been restricted in some manner during this health crisis and how you have adapted.
You may find yourself still adjusting to or struggling with all the changes that can take a toll on our mental and physical well-being. Worry, loneliness, sadness, fear of losing control, changes with sleep and eating habits, and fatigue are some physical and mental strains that impact our ability to manage our daily lives.
May was Mental Health Awareness Month, but awareness must continue, and support is available. Each person is unique in how they handle stressful situations that impact their day. Unfortunately, there is still a stigma surrounding mental illness, which may prevent some people from accessing care.
Consider your mental health as self-care, something that you need as you continue to maneuver through the path to the “new normal.”
CalOptima offers members outpatient mental health services for mild to moderate mental health conditions. Services offered include: 

  • Assessment
  • Individual and group therapy
  • Help with medicines for mental health

Members can learn more by calling CalOptima Behavioral Health at 1‑855‑87‑3885 (TTY 711 ). This number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week . Specialty mental health services continue to be available through the County of Orange at 1‑800‑723‑8641.
From CalOptima's Population Health Management Department
CalOptima Provides Healthy Resources for
Children and Adolescents
To help educate our members, CalOptima’s Health Management department developed a series of Health Guide newsletters for adolescents ages 13–17 years and 18–21 years old. CalOptima recently mailed our members the Health Guide newsletters that note the importance of well-care visits and immunizations across all age groups.
Well-care visits are a crucial part of social, mental and physical development and are different from a sick visit. At a well-care visit, a doctor looks at health history, assesses physical and mental development, completes a physical exam and provides health education as needed. Timely vaccinations can help prevent or limit the risk of getting a disease or illness. CalOptima encourages all parents to call their child’s primary care provider to find out when is the next recommended well-care visit, and to also stay up to date on vaccinations.
Other topics in the newsletters include sexual health, behavioral health, maintaining a healthy weight, stress management, texting and drunk driving.
CalOptima also provides other resources online. Click here for our self-care guides, and here for interactive self-management tools.
Important: Due to the number of COVID-19 cases rising, providers are taking precautions to make visits safe with social distancing and have extra cleaning measures in place. CalOptima encourages people to seek medical guidance when scheduling exams and health care visits to determine which visits might be needed and essential versus delayable, depending on each person’s risk factors and accommodations that are available.
If you have questions, contact CalOptima’s Health Management department at QI_Initiatives@caloptima.org.
From CalOptima's Advisory Committees
CalOptima Seeks Candidates for Advisory Committees
The CalOptima Board of Directors welcomes input and recommendations from the community regarding issues concerning CalOptima programs. The CalOptima Board encourages members and community advocates to become involved through their four advisory groups known as the Member Advisory Committee (MAC), OneCare Connect Member Advisory Committee (OCC MAC), Provider Advisory Committee (PAC) and the Whole-Child Model Family Advisory Committee (WCM FAC)
Advisory Committee members advise the CalOptima Board of Directors and staff. The charge of the committees is to:
  • Provide advice and recommendations to the CalOptima Board on issues concerning CalOptima programs as directed by the CalOptima Board.
  • Engage in study, research and analysis of issues assigned by the Board or generated by the individual committees.
  • Serve as a liaison between interested parties and the Board.
  • Assist the Board in obtaining public opinion on issues relating to CalOptima programs.
  • Initiate recommendations on issues for study to the CalOptima Board for their approval and consideration.
  • Facilitate community outreach for CalOptima and the Board.
Service on the MAC, OCC MAC and PAC is voluntary and with no salary. Service on the WCM FAC allows a stipend only for the Authorized Family Member Representatives.
Currently, CalOptima is seeking the following representatives on the MAC, OCC MAC and the WCM FAC:
  • Consumer Representative — Must be a current CalOptima Medi-Cal member with an understanding and familiarity with the diverse cultural and/or social environments of Orange County. Must have availability and willingness to attend regular, special and ad hoc MAC meetings.

  • Medi-Cal Beneficiary Representative — Current or former CalOptima member with experience collaborating with, and ability to reach out, seek input and advocate for CalOptima Medi-Cal beneficiaries. Must have availability and willingness to attend regular, special and ad hoc MAC meetings.
  • Long-Term Services and Supports Representative — To fulfill a remaining term through June 30, 2022. This seat represents CalOptima’s Duals (Medicare/Medi-Cal) OCC population.

  • Member or Family Member Representative — To fulfill a remaining term through June 30, 2022. Must be a CalOptima OCC member or represent a family member enrolled in CalOptima OCC program. 
  • Authorized Family Member Representatives (stipend eligible) — Two openings exist to fulfill a term through June 30, 2022. CalOptima encourages interested individuals with knowledge and support of California Children’s Services (CCS), Medi-Cal and Medicare to apply for the open seats. Must have an eligible family member under age 21 who is currently enrolled in CCS.
Please contact Cheryl Simmons for more information on any particular seat by email  csimmons@caloptima.org or by phone at 714-347-5785 .
Drowning Prevention
With summer upon us, it is a great time to encourage parents to review their family’s safety plan and take steps to prevent drowning accidents. While anyone can drown, drowning remains one of the leading causes of death and disability for individuals age 19 and under. Young children and infants may be more at risk for drowning in ways that new parents may not have been aware.  Click here to learn more about pool safety.
From CalOptima's Community Relations Department
Upcoming Meetings and Events
CalOptima is committed to collaborating with our community partners to provide access to health care services, educational resources and social services to our members. In collaboration with diverse community organizations, this list of events and meetings below is a resource for providers and stakeholders, and it reflects our commitment to participation in community activities regularly. To view the entire month of July, click here .

July 15
Covered OC Steering Committee Meeting  (Conference call)
July 16
Orange County Disability Coalition Meeting  (Pending)
Orange County Women's Health Project Advisory Meeting  (Conference call)
July 21
North Orange County Senior Collaborative All Members Meeting  (Virtual format)
Placentia Community Collaborative Meeting  (Virtual format)
July 23
Orange County Care Coordination for Kids Meeting  (Pending)
July 28
OC Senior Roundtable Meeting  (Pending)
CalOptima Contacts
Medi-Cal Customer Service Department
505 City Parkway West
Orange, CA 92868
714-246-8500 888-587-8088 ; TTY 711
CalOptima PACE
13300 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, CA 92843
714-468-1100 ; TTY 714-468-1063

Community Relations Staff

Tiffany Kaaiakamanu
Manager, Community Relations
Lisa Nguyen
Senior Community Relations Specialist

Sophia Juarez
Senior Community Relations Specialist

Shelly Manjarrez
Community Relations Specialist
Additional Contacts
CalOptima TechAssist Program
Medi-Cal Specialization Regional Center
For Long-Term Care Applications

To apply for Medi-Cal contact:

Orange County Social Services Agency


Covered California  
888-889-4500 TTY