KidWorks is one step closer to getting our entire staff vaccinated thanks to an amazing new partnership with Families Together of Orange County Community Health Center (FTOC). Not only will this ensure our staff remains healthy during COVID-19, but it also brings us one step closer to re-opening our centers and welcoming our students back to in-person learning. 

FTOC has been instrumental in delivering COVID-19 vaccines to underserved and under-resourced communities throughout Orange County. Now, this Tustin-based non-profit has teamed-up with KidWorks to extend vaccination availability as more qualifying tiers are approved by the State of California.

And because vaccine inequity and misinformation surrounding vaccinations can be more prevalent in under-resourced communities, FTOC is teaming up with KidWorks and our Parent Advisory Council  to provide accurate information and resources that can be shared with other moms and dads in the community.

“We are so gratified that so many of the KidWorks’ staff have taken advantage of this great opportunity and have been vaccinated at FTOC’s clinic, once educators and childcare providers became eligible,” says David Benavides, our Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director. “While their clinic was very busy, they still reserved one hour each day over a two-week to vaccinate our KidWorks staff.” 

Even though it’s still too soon to open up our centers because of the ongoing pandemic, we are actively putting plans in place to be ready once the authorities feel it’s safe for in-person programs; having a fully vaccinated staff is a big step forward in preparation of that day.

Cassie Rossel, FTOC’s Head of Brand Marketing & Communications, says the clinic has administered 10,000 vaccines as of early March. Their vaccination program began the last week of December 2020. Plus, 95% of their patients 65 years of age or older have received one or more doses.

“Our goal is to help make sure that we fully do our part to make sure that everyone in Orange County is eventually vaccinated,” Cassie says. “This aligns with our mission as a health center in the heart of Orange County. We are dedicated to assisting everyone overcome any obstacles that stand in the way of accessing quality health care.”

Cassie said that most FTOC patients live relatively close to their Tustin clinic, so connecting with KidWorks was a way to reach Santa Ana families we serve who may not know about their clinic.

“We knew KidWorks was another organization doing such good work in the community and that they would be a great partner and a way for us to reach even more people,” Cassie says.

Cassie adds that FTOC is looking forward to future partnership opportunities with KidWorks where they can extend their reach to underserved and under-resourced communities by providing services in the categories of medical, dental, vision, behavioral, nutritional wellness and more.

Those interested in learning more about Families Together of Orange County Community Health Center can visit their website at:

KidWorks is deeply grateful for the lives FTOC is helping to save and we look forward to partnering with their incredible team in pursuit of a healthier Orange County.

By Glenn Leibowitz, volunteer writer