Community Opinions

COMMUNITY OPINION: San Benito Health Foundation vs San Benito County Health Department

Mary Zanger writes that the community needs both health organizations during the pandemic.

This community opinion was contributed by resident Mary Zanger. The opinions expressed do not necessarily represent BenitoLink or other affiliated contributors.

Regarding our two health care providers, San Benito County Health Department and San Benito Health Foundation, do we have twins, siblings or cousins? In our county we need them both especially in this pandemic therefore this “sibling” rivalry pains us.

Both perform mass vaccinations; both have a staff support system of doctors, nurses, technicians and office clerks. Both serve the public of this county by vaccination programs designed to reach as many as possible under the state structure.

Their differences are more akin to having different parents. They are financed differently. The San Benito County Health Department is funded by the state through systems like Medi-Cal and federal systems like Medicare and Obama Care. The County Board of Supervisors control the county health department.

Now look at the differences. San Benito Health Foundation is a private nonprofit organization. Some of their money source is the same: Medi-Cal, Medicare and Obama Care. Some is different: private donors and private support. Private donors make providing health care possible for those with no insurance and little money.  

Instead of an elected board of supervisors, private nonprofits possess a private board of directors who make the decisions. They share the same mandate from the state regarding vaccination prioritization. However they are entitled to their own opinion regarding administration. Different funding sources make different opinions necessary. Yet they share the same mandate to vaccinate as many as possible.

My opinion is one of gratitude to have both organizations serving the public under the stress of vaccinating as many of our population as possible.

Mary Zanger, Retired Pharmacist


Mary Zanger