Institute for Community Collaborative Studies

Past Projects

Monterey County Health Literacy Project

Health literacy is an issue affecting almost all Americans, with 9 out of 10 reporting difficulty navigating the sometimes technical, unfamiliar and complicated health information disseminated by health care providers, the media, businesses and government offices. When information is difficult to interpret or comprehend, individuals are less likely to seek preventive care and more likely to experience poor health outcomes. The Monterey County Health Department (MCHD) aimed to address these concerns through implementation of the Monterey County Health Literacy project, utilizing community health workers to target outreach to those populations most at-risk of experiencing low health literacy and other health disparities, including COVID-19; populations of focus included Spanish-speaking, Latinx, and indigenous groups, and African Americans.

ICCS served as the evaluation team on this project, working to determine whether the target populations are being reached, whether providers are incorporating culturally and linguistically appropriate standards into their practice, and identifying changes in COVID-19 testing and vaccination rates, as well as case, hospitalization and fatality rates.

No Zip Code Left Behind: Addressing Inequities through Collaborative Partnerships (Cohorts #1 and #2)

These projects addressed the historic unmet need for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, specialty mental health (MH) services, and supportive services in South County from 2017-2023, in an effort to decrease nonviolent offenders’ risks for subsequent incarceration and to treat behavioral health disorders among people with co-occurring disorders to reduce the need for more frequent and costly hospitalizations, jail-bookings, entitlement benefits, and supportive services. Specifically, the project was designed to: 1) reduce recidivism by linking the reclassified and target population to services and supports, 2) divert individuals with behavioral health needs from the criminal justice system, and 3) reduce regional inequity by assuring access to substance use treatment.

ICCS served as the evaluation team on the project, working to identify and report on progress toward achieving the outcomes outlined above.