In our efforts to support students during their time at HBAS and beyond, we collaborate with partnering organizations who serve the wider community. One such partner is the Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living at Hoag Hospital. We recently caught up with Counselor Ashley Nguyen to get the scoop on this fairly new partnership:
How did HBAS end up connecting and partnering with Hoag Hospital?
“HBAS established a partnership with the Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living (MHSCHL) at the beginning of this school year. While searching for community resources to better support our students during this global pandemic, I was fortunate to connect with Dr. Michaell Rose, Director of Community Health.
I shared that we have classes at the BESST Center in Costa Mesa, about 2 miles away from the Melinda Hoag Smith Center. Dr. Rose kindly provided me with an abundance of information about the Center’s programs and educational resources. She also introduced me with her program supervisor, Rocio Valencia Vega. Rocio has been my main contact when coordinating professional development for staff.”
In what ways does the Melinda Hoag Smith Center serve HBAS staff, students and the community at large?
“The Center’s work is guided by the understanding that that good health is dependent on many factors beyond health care itself. The MHSCHL team strives “to positively impact the health and well-being of our community’s most vulnerable populations.” The center takes “an integrated, holistic approach to community services, addressing everything from health care to legal services, to mental health and spiritual support.”
Through our partnership, HBAS has connected our staff and students with food distribution, diaper distribution and rental assistance. Hoag also provides FREE tax preparation and FREE virtual wellness classes (yoga, Zumba, mindfulness, etc.).
As we’ve navigated the global pandemic, HBAS administrators have been on the lookout for new ways to support our staff. We have partnered with Hoag to provide professional development opportunities for the HBAS team. These virtual events have given our staff tools to cope with stress and anxiety and addressed compassion fatigue and trauma transmission.”
What would you want people to know about the Center’s programs?
“Hoag is a wonderful partner, and I would love for students and our community to learn about the variety of services they offer. It is truly a collaborative effort to help students lift and remove barriers to success through addressing basic needs and combating food insecurities. The Center has an amazing team of bilingual Spanish clinical social workers to assist with personal wellness and mental health.”
HBAS is grateful to have generous community partners like the Melinda Hoag Smith Center for Healthy Living. Their support of our staff and students is life changing. Explore the Center’s services and programs today!