Merced County Launches Community-Based Web Sites for Public Health, Environmental Health, Emergency Medical Services, and Community Health

January 31, 2008
Network of Care

MERCED, Calif. – Merced County has introduced a breakthrough Web solution for individuals, families and agencies concerned with public health, environmental health, emergency medical services and community health. The Network of Care for Public Health is an online information place that provides critical information, communication and advocacy tools with a single point of entry. It ensures there is “No Wrong Door” for those navigating the system of public-health services.

The Network of Care project (www.networkofcare.org) was begun with an innovation grant from the State of California. This community’s Network of Care for Public Health, developed in partnership with the Merced County Health Department, is a pilot program for California and the nation. Regardless of where individuals, families and agencies begin their search for assistance with public-health issues, the Network of Care for Public Health ensures they will find what they need. The new Web site will enable people to find the right service at the right time; educate themselves about their issues; understand current policy initiatives and advocate directly to elected officials, and better manage their affairs, interactions and important records.

The Network of Care for Public Health provides a comprehensive Service Directory of all of the public-health service providers in Merced County, putting people in touch with the right services at the right time.  The Network of Care also provides easy-to-search libraries and vital information about public-health issues, pending legislation and online interactive forms, as well as daily news articles from around the world concerning public health, environmental health, emergency medical services and community health.

To increase accessibility and accommodate the Network of Care’s users, the site’s innovative technology provides near-universal access, regardless of literacy or income level, to Web-based services through a text-only version of the site and other adaptive technologies. The site is fully ADA-compliant. The Network of Care also is available in multiple languages.

Service providers can share challenges and ideas, as well as create powerful new mechanisms to better serve people, by embracing the Network of Care’s communication tools such as message boards and community calendars.  Service providers can even build their own free Web sites in the For Providers section.