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Legacy Health Endowment, Hello Alpha to Provide Free Virtual Healthcare in 2 California Counties


Specially designed to meet the needs of “the forgotten middle,” Sonja Cares is an innovative solution for accessible, equitable healthcare. The forgotten middle is made up of individuals and families who don’t qualify for Medicaid (in California, Medi-Cal) yet face financial hardships with their healthcare. In a survey of the communities it serves, Legacy Health Endowment discovered that 8 out of 10 residents skipped or delayed seeking their own medical care or filling a prescription to make sure that a child, spouse, or partner could access healthcare services. Nearly half (48%) said that the cost of their annual deductible has had a large effect on their decisions about seeking healthcare.

Sonja Cares aims to ensure immediate access to medical providers for these overlooked communities. It will provide comprehensive care for more than 100 medical conditions and help address acute care needs before they escalate into chronic issues. Enrollment is open to adults who live in one of the 19 Zip codes within Legacy Health Endowment’s service area.

Staying true to the promise of being more affordable, prescriptions will be sent to Tower Pharmacy, where patients will be charged $2 for their medication.

Jeffrey Lewis, President of Legacy Health Endowment, emphasized the importance of enhancing healthcare delivery by improving patient access, particularly for underserved insured and uninsured adults in Stanislaus and Merced counties.

“Sonja Cares seeks to remove geographical barriers through telehealth and overcome the common tendency among adults to prioritize their children’s healthcare needs over their own, thereby jeopardizing their own health,” Lewis said.

Gloria Lau, founder and CEO of Hello Alpha, said telehealth can play a critical role to bridge gaps in healthcare accessibility by offering comprehensive primary care via messaging with no appointment necessary. Hello Alpha’s holistic approach to care — backed by dedicated primary care providers available 24/7 — aims to provide compassionate and quality healthcare without the inconvenience of appointments, travel, or waiting rooms.

“Getting compassionate, quality healthcare can be a pain,” Lau said. “The average wait time to see a primary care provider (PCP) in the U.S. is 26 days — and that’s if you have a PCP to begin with. That’s where Hello Alpha comes in. We offer truly accessible and comprehensive primary care via messaging, with no appointments needed. Whether a patient isn’t feeling well because of an urgent issue or they need care for an ongoing chronic condition, Hello Alpha takes a holistic approach to care with a dedicated PCP available 24/7.”

Telehealth technologies, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, have emerged as essential components of healthcare delivery, extending access to care around the clock. As Lewis emphasized, Sonja Cares seeks to level the healthcare playing field for agricultural and dairy workers and their families–as well as middle-income families and first-generation students–by offering them healthcare that isn’t limited by hours of operation or unpredictable costs.

Sonja Cares is named in honor of Sonja Ann Iltis, a Turlock resident and longtime volunteer at the Emanuel Cancer Center. She was a founding member of Emanuel’s Cancer Awareness Night Out committee. Iltis died of cancer in 2016.

About the partners: Legacy Health Endowment, a nonprofit based in Turlock, CA, is committed to improving the health of all residents in its service area by increasing access to healthcare services and promoting healthy lifestyle decisions. Hello Alpha provides comprehensive virtual primary care for women, eliminating barriers to healthcare through telehealth visits that empower patients to seek care at any time without the constraints of appointments or travel.

Media Contact

Kristen Mondshein, Hello Alpha, 1 3058773293, [email protected], www.helloalpha.com

SOURCE Hello Alpha

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