“We know, based on research by the World Health Organization, that social needs drive social outcomes. So when an individual’s or community’s social needs fail to be addressed, these communities suffer by the effect of poor health outcomes,” said Chief Medical Officer for Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan James Cruz, MD. “Most people have multiple social needs so we have to make sure that we can identify every one of them.”
Dr. Cruz made these remarks during a recent interview on The Gap Minders podcast, co-hosted by United Way of San Diego Chief Executive Officer Nancy Sasaki and San Diego Council on Literacy Chief Executive Officer Jose Cruz. The podcast engages local community stakeholders to address issues and gaps in San Diego County surrounding health, education, wealth, literacy, and more.
Reflecting on his youth and growing up among migrant farm workers in California, Dr. Cruz talks about how seeing his family members having to travel to Tijuana for dental and healthcare services in Spanish encouraged him to pursue a career in health care. He also provided an overview of Blue Shield Promise’s work to help disenfranchised communities through its BlueSky youth mental health program and Community Resiliency Workgroup in San Diego.
Click here to listen to Dr. Cruz’s Gap Minders podcast interview.