Addiction Medicine

Challenge: Over 20 million people struggle with addiction in the United States – yet there are only 4,400 addiction specialists available nationwide to care for these patients. Abuse of illicit drugs, alcohol, and tobacco cost our country more than $740 billion annually. Locally, the County of Ventura experiences 14 deaths per 100,000 people due to addiction disorders and overdoses. 5.7 per 100 people in our county struggle with Opiate Use Disorder – that’s 5.7% of our population and rising. To combat this public health epidemic, we need more addiction trained Primary Care Physicians in Ventura County.

Solution: We provide trainees the opportunity to become academic and clinical leaders in the subspecialty of Addiction Medicine. Candidates are ideally Primary Care Physicians looking to continue Primary Care Practice and integrate Addiction Medicine in their daily health care practice in Ventura County. They will work with community clinics, jails, emergency departments, hospitals, maternity practices, and existing addiction treatment programs. This will help close the gap of much-needed specialists and improve outcomes for our vulnerable populations.

Backpack Medicine

Challenge: Scattered among streets, parks, river bottoms, beaches and shelters, there are more than 4,500 homeless men, women and children in Ventura County, although census counts capture approximately one third of the actually homeless population. In 2018, Ventura County Health Care Agency saw over 14,500 homeless patient cases within the subsidized safety net health care system, suffering from conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, infection, frostbite, heat stroke, mental illness and addiction.  However, these numbers captured are the ambulatory homeless who are able to visit a “brick and mortar” clinic.  Ventura County homeless population where they camp without services in what is referred to as “the outback”; the only shelter being what they build themselves.

Solution: Ventura County Backpack Medicine is an innovative and comprehensive program providing direct services with the goal of improving health care outcomes (including high blood pressure, diabetes, infection, frostbite, heat stroke, mental illness and addiction), ending homelessness, fostering self-reliance and creating hope for vulnerable populations in Ventura County, regardless of ability to pay. By overcoming obstacles, such as fear of the system and transportation, homeless patients begin receiving high quality where they live and dwell. This reduces Emergency Department visits and hospital admissions, lowering costs. It also offers an opportunity to engage in programs aimed at stabilizing their lives through regular counseling and progressing away from homelessness.

Caduceus Crew

Challenge: Nurses are essential to best outcomes in health care, yet often additional resources are needed to support nurses and Nursing Education.

Solution: Ventura County Health Care Agency physicians may donate to support and make a difference in Nursing Education.


Castro Christmas Party

Challenge: Many families with children battling life-threatening illnesses are unable to provide Christmas gifts for their family.

Solution: Castro Christmas Party has hosted 11 annual toy drives for Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases at Ventura County Medical Center. Typically, we have donation boxes around the county to collect toys for pediatric patients fighting cancer and other diseases. Our community has been so incredibly supportive of our efforts, making our annual Christmas Party & Toy Drive a huge success. During these challenging times the families need our support!

Centering Pregnancy

Challenge: Ventura County low-income women are at higher risk for low-birth weight and pre-term deliveries. Babies born before 37 weeks are at risk for acute and chronic conditions ranging from breathing issues, jaundice, infection, heart function, hypoglycemia, breastfeeding complications and bonding.

Solution: Centering Pregnancy is a model of prenatal care that uses group visits to replace traditional one-on-one checkups. This increases time for moderated peer discussion of health topics and enhances community support through facilitative leadership. Studies have shown that Centering Pregnancy improves birth weights and results in fewer pre-term births. Each group will have up to 15 participants with consistent group members across ten visits following a standard prenatal care schedule. Groups will be divided into English and Spanish languages and the continuity provider will be on call for the participants’ deliveries.

Child Life Specialist

Challenge: It’s every parent’s nightmare to learn that his or her child has been diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness. But many children spend extended periods of time in hospitals each year. When a child is admitted to the hospital, the child and the parent have unique needs and fears that need to be guided. Our pediatric population needs extra time to understand their environment, experiences and procedures. They need to cope with many emotions, and they need to be kids, and learn and grow. The family also needs extra support to support the child in a healthy way.

Solution: While being in a hospital for any length of time is far from ideal, Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLS) are trained professionals who work to make the experience as positive as possible. VCMC is proud to have the county’s only CCLS, who is clinically trained in the developmental impact of illness and injury. Our full-time CCLS provides age-appropriate preparation for medical procedures, pain management, coping strategies and self-expressional activities, in addition to sharing guidance and support to the parents, siblings and other family members of their tender young patients.

Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases

Challenge: Childhood cancer is different than adult cancer. Children undergoing life-threatening illness need special family-centered care and comfort during their treatment and recovery.

Solution: Donations are dedicated to pediatric patients at Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disease at Ventura County Medical Center. This fund purchases equipment and supports programming while raising awareness for childhood diseases within our community.


Donate Your Vehicle/Boat/Bike

Challenge: Wondering what to do with your used vehicles & need an additional deduction?

Solution: Your old vehicle can bring joy and so much more to local health care in Ventura County!  HCFVC will provide you with a tax-deductible receipt for your tax deduction. This is a win-win, since you can use your deduction on your 1098-c form during tax season, and the future of health care in Ventura old cars for kids to live their dreams!


Disaster Relief

Challenge: Mass destruction stretches county resources thin and places our community at risk.

Solution: Ventura County has had more than its fair share of disasters. From the Thomas Fire and Woolsey Fire, to mudslides and the COVID-19 pandemic, our community has demonstrated generosity and resiliency that warms the heart. The best way to help in any disaster is to donate funds that allow us to respond nimbly to urgent and immediate needs from our physicians, first responders and public health officials.


Grateful Patients

Challenge: Our patients are looking for ways to express their appreciation for the health care providers. And our health care heroes treasure knowing they made a meaningful difference!

Solution: One of the best parts of health care is hearing the stories from grateful patients who cite the profound difference our medical teams make in not only their quality of life, but their very survival. This is why we are creating a Grateful Patient Portal where you can submit your appreciation for our incredible health care heroes and share all the goodness with our community!



Challenge: Ventura County patients experience gaps in critical medical and behavioral health care when they are waiting for coverage from federal health agencies and other services.

Solution: Humanity Account for the Vulnerable & Underserved (HAVU) was created by HCFVC for Ventura County Health Care Agency’s Ventura County Medical Center, Ventura County Medical Center Inpatient Psychiatric Unit, and Behavioral Health. This restricted account has been generously organized to provide medication co-pay assistance and basic needs for our most vulnerable and underserved populations.

Providers and program staff will continue to utilize all Federal, State and local funds available for these crucial services. However, this fund will be used as a stop-gap account for services/products not covered under any other funding source. This allows for seamless services for individuals who might otherwise be denied these fundamental human needs.

Critical needs include pharmacological co-pays for medical and behavioral health that are not covered by other funds, basic lunch items for weekly homeless checkups and the most basic footwear and clothing needs.

History: Ventura Downtown Lions Club graciously seeded this account with $500 from their health and welfare fund to help provide care for over 4,000 vulnerable homeless people currently within county lines.

By giving to HAVU you will make a meaningful difference in the lives of our underserved and homeless populations.


Challenge: Economically and educationally disadvantaged youth face barriers to authentic clinical exposure pathways, insight into research and evidence-based exploration into professional goals and expanded leadership opportunities

Solution: Health Occupations Pipeline Education (HOPE) is a vital educational program and is building for the future by inspiring the future generation of health care leaders. HOPE was created to provide equal opportunity for all local high school, community college and university students to train in various aspects of health care, while creating a sustainable pipeline for our future workforce. HOPE is a collaborative among Ventura Health Care Agency, Ventura County High School Districts, Ventura County Office of Education, and SCCRC South Central Regional Consortium, Community College Collaborative. HOPE was developed with the dream of creating equity for all students, regardless of background or societal barriers.

Be a champion of our youth…Declare your support for the future generation of health care workers in Ventura County.

Medical Equipment Acquisition

Challenge: Health care budgeting contain unique challenges to acquisition of state-of-the-art medical equipment that is central to best practices and high quality, efficient local health care for all. Among the most urgent and ongoing needs we face is purchasing updated medical equipment that furnish our health care providers and facilities with state-of-the-art equipment required to perform critical services for all in our county.

Solution: Equipment identified by Health Care Agency leaders needed to improve patient outcomes, necessary compliance and streamline of care. Current full-service point-of-care medical equipment are essential building blocks to for highest quality of care, yielding improved patient outcomes, necessary compliance and further streamlined care. This is evidenced in fewer transfer of patients to other facilities and more prompt response times. We focus on best patient outcomes, serving thousands of patients every year locally, regardless of ability to pay.


Medical Therapy Unit Program

Challenge: Children with chronic and acute conditions need our help with specialized equipment designed to help them gain physical independence and quality of life.

Solution: California Children’s Services Medical Therapy Unit Program (MTU) empowers families with children who have serious chronic conditions to integrate into an accessible and accepting community through facilitation of healthy living, recreation, and full inclusion.  The MTU Program also provides access to a skilled multidisciplinary team of medical rehabilitation professionals in addition to the physical and occupational therapists which includes a nutritionist, social workers, case managers, and physicians. All the therapy services are provided at no charge to the families.

You can make a difference in the lives of local children by donating to the Medical Therapy Program for needed up to date equipment that provides these children with positive results!


Nursing Education

Challenge: Health care competencies are constantly changing, and resources are needed to augment Nursing Education and support our health care nursing heroes.

Solution: Ventura County Medical Center believes in providing robust education for medical professionals and staff. This ongoing training and Nursing Education enhance bedside competencies alongside optimal patient experience and outcomes.

Reach Out and Read Ventura County

Challenge: Family and Children literacy, in Ventura County, especially those facing barriers, suffer from multiple adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) which significantly affects our community, communication, interactivity and overall health of our region. 

Solution: Reach Out and Read Ventura County (RORVC) encourages strong positive experiences through highlighting the importance of parents/caretakers reading with their children to counter ACEs. Over the last 6-years, RORVC has provided free developmentally appropriate books to all pediatric patients visiting for their well child visits starting from 6-months to 5-years of age. Our goal is that each child is gifted nine books (including bilingual books) which will be the foundation for their own personal library to help them be successful in school and in life. Additional benefits include fostering a stronger parent-child bond, building healthy relationships between the child and doctors, and the enjoyment a child gets knowing they will go home with a book.


Santa Paula Hospital + Mid-Wifery

Challenge: Santa Paula families have voiced their need for generational and intimate family planning health care close to home.

Solution: Santa Paula Hospital offers comprehensive prenatal and post-natal care for mothers to be. In addition to our exceptionally trained Family Medicine and Obstetricians, Santa Paula Hospital has answered the request from our community to offer a special Midwifery program that walks mothers through all stages of their pregnancy and development of their baby! Santa Paula Hospital is proud to be a Baby-Friendly Hospital, a distinction shared by only 100 hospitals nationwide.

Please join us in supporting the health care of local moms through Midwifery at Santa Paula Hospital.


Summer Student Scholars

Challenge: Undergraduate students lack opportunities to experience and exposure to the medical field and associated specialties before committing resources to inform their professional and educational commitments.

Solution: Summer Student Scholar Program at Ventura County Medical Center is supported by a grant from Health Care Foundation for Ventura County to provide undergraduate college students considering careers in medicine, biomed engineering, and other health care professions an opportunity to spend eight weeks during the summer with medical faculty and physicians in training. Scholars observe a variety of environments including trauma in the emergency room, surgical procedures in the operating room, special care for patients in ICU, outpatient care in the clinic system, and postmortem exams in the coroner’s office.

Students assist in developing a research project in an area of their interest; their time is divided between the clinical setting and on their research project. Several important research projects have been presented at nationally recognized medical conferences, at both the state and national level. Some students continue their projects into their college career.

For over 50 years, Summer Student Scholars Program has provided unparalleled exposure to clinical medicine and research. This year approximately fifty applications have been received and five students will be extended the opportunity. Summer Scholars thoroughly enjoyed their experiences and were unanimous in viewing this program as instrumental in helping clarify their career goals.

Investing locally in our youth is a powerful action to declare your support for health care in Ventura County…



Tattoo Removal Clinic

Challenge: Research shows that tattooed people are widely perceived by hiring managers to be less employable than people without tattoos. This is especially the case for those who have visible tattoos (particularly offensive ones) that are difficult to conceal.

Solution: Ventura County Tattoo Removal Program is available to former incarcerated persons and community members ready to leave a gang or improve their employment opportunities. Removing visible tattoos improves chances of finding a job, healing and restoring self-esteem. Conceived from the acronym “STEPS”, the goal of the Tattoo Removal Program is to offer Strategic Training for Employment and Personal Success.

Transitioning brave people from “jails to jobs”, this essential service is currently offered monthly at Ventura County Health Care Agency clinics in Oxnard and Santa Paula, CA. The Tattoo Removal Program averages 400 treatments annually, focusing on visible parts of the body, such as the face, neck and arms, which are of prime concern for potential employers.