The Council of Community Clinics (CCC) provides centralized support services to 16-member community clinic and health center organizations operating nearly 100 sites in California’s San Diego, Imperial, and Riverside counties. Their mission is to represent and support community clinics and health centers in their efforts to provide access to quality health care and related services, with a special emphasis on serving low-income and uninsured populations. They strive to be the common voice by building and strengthening relationships with strategic partners to develop sustainable resources and healthier communities.
Founded in 1977 the CCC helps its community clinics provide care to 1 in 6 San Diegans. And, since the County of San Diego does not operate a public hospital or public clinics, the CCC-member nonprofit community clinics and health centers are one of the few safety nets for primary care services for low-income and uninsured individuals.
Several years ago, during the height of the Great Recession, the CCC faced a negative budget and used their entire monetary reserve which had been built over years of careful spending. Even with the extra monies at their disposal, the agency had to do a large layoff to continue to provide support and services. “It was incredibly difficult,” said Tracy Garmer, Director of Human Resources at CCC. After the state was fully reimbursed for all the claims, CCC’s UST reserves were drawn down and the organization took notice of their relationship with the Trust for the first time.
“When I first got here- having come from the for-profit sector- I didn’t really know about the Trust, and I was told we were working off a credit, so it didn’t really rise to a high level of interest,” said Garmer. After the state was reimbursed, the CCC had to re-build their UST account so she felt she needed to learn more about how the Trust operates and if it was still their best option.
“When I called I talked to several people that were extremely helpful in explaining that we were only paying for our own claims, versus what we would be doing in the state system. I emailed back and forth with the Director of Operations at UST and ended up being able to ask for a review of our rates.”
Having learned about how UST works and how the Trust ensures that each member is only paying for their own unemployment claims, CCC was able to get their rates reviewed and reduced while they re-built their reserves. “When I called to inquire about my rate, the Trust was willing to look at and re-calculate my rate for me. We had gone years and years without large layoffs, and UST made a decision about CCC as an individual company, rather than just lumping us in with everyone else. It’s something I highlight to people that are looking at going into the Trust.”
For CCC, early education wasn’t high on the list of immediate to-dos, but when their rates changed and they called on UST to explain, the Trust was able to offer information to help deter future unemployment costs, as well as provide information about how a layoff affects their account. One of the greatest offerings for nonprofit employers who are expecting layoffs is to call UST and ask their dedicated claims reps questions before making any layoff decisions to see if there are any other approaches, such as partial layoffs, that can save their nonprofit money and reduce claims costs in the long, and short, run.