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Caring Hands In Health Application

Caring Hands in Health assists the county’s most vulnerable patients at San Mateo Medical Center’s hospital and clinics. We provide patients with financial assistance to enable them and their families to fulfill their needs quickly and in a dignified manner, improving healthcare access for at-risk populations in our community.

Caring Hands is a temporary assistance program that helps people in dire need while they work on a more long-term solution. Every application is thoroughly reviewed by the Foundation and granted on a per-case basis.

We fund…

  • Up to $500 for Basic Necessities 

  • Medical Assistance 

  • Up to $2,000 for Emergency Housing Assistance; or temporary accommodations for recuperative care 

  • Senior meals for people 60 years old and above

See FAQs for complete details on funding restrictions and guidelines.

This program is meant for medical and life necessities. Please do not submit requests for non-essential items like TVs, car payments, furniture, etc.

Patient Application

Patients cannot submit an application form. Only a staff member of the San Mateo Medical Center network of clinics can fill out forms on behalf of patients, and all requests must be confirmed by a SMMC Healthcare Provider.


SMMC Staff and Healthcare Providers: Please review the FAQs before submitting a HIPAA compliant application on behalf of your patient.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To align with IRS regulations, program recipients must constitute a “charitable class” (individuals facing economic hardship or children) and meet the program eligibility requirements, which are specific to San Mateo County Health Foundation’s cause and work to identify individuals most in need of assistance. 


Program Eligibility Requirements


Recipients must…

● be a patient of San Mateo Medical Center’s hospital and clinics and must have a Medical Record Number (MRN).

● be referred by a SMMC staff member; a SMMC provider must attest to the needs of the patient and that there is no concern the assistance may be used for any alcohol or drug addiction.

● be referred to and have an assigned SMMC social worker in cases where emergency housing assistance is requested.

Before requests are approved, the SMMC social worker or staff/provider must confirm that the patient has also been directed to other agencies and services for a more long-term solution.

– Financial assistance up to $500 for basic necessities like groceries, medical and accessibility equipment, and other out-of-pocket expenses related to or directly caused by a medical issue. 

– Medical Assistance with prescription copays, dental procedures, and transportation to and from San Mateo Medical Center and its clinics for those who truly do not have a way to get to their medical appointments.

– Emergency housing assistance for those in a dire situation such as eviction or in need of a place to recover from surgery. If approved, we will cover one month of rent no more than $1,500 on a one-time basis. Before they can be granted rental assistance, patients applying must be referred to and assigned a SMMC social worker. Recuperative care requests are granted according to the situation. Emergency housing assistance is meant to fill the gap while the patient is working on a long-term solution with their social worker and/or other San Mateo County agencies. 

-Senior meals through Meals On Wheels for people 60 years old and above who live by themselves and cannot prepare their own meals, suffer from food insecurity, or recovering from medical surgery and have difficulty being mobile (short term cases may be approved for people under 60 years old recovering from surgery). 

We do not give cash to patients. Payment is made to a merchant or business to pay for the goods/services requested or rent is sent directly to the patient’s landlord.

Patients cannot submit their own application. Requests can be submitted by any SMMC staff member but must be confirmed by a SMMC provider on the online application. Patient or patient’s guardian must give their consent by signing the form online during their in-person appointment, or the SMMC staff member/provider can sign on their behalf. 

Staff/providers can attest on the application that they have been given consent by the patient or individual authorized to consent on behalf of the patient. Tick the box for Verbal Patient Signature.

Applications are processed Monday-Friday by Foundation staff. Staff/providers and patients are notified of their application status within 48 hours of submission, unless for special circumstances where the request needs further review. After the Foundation receives an application, staff will work directly with the patient. If the Foundation is unable to reach the patient or patient’s guardian, we will contact the SMMC representative for additional support.

When notifying patients regarding the approval of their application, the Foundation will arrange the pick-up location or delivery of items requested. We do not give cash to patients. Payment is made directly to a merchant or business to pay for the goods/services requested. Approved emergency housing assistance will be paid directly to the patient’s landlord.

You can easily download the program one sheet by clicking here to save and print it for your own reference. This
sheet provides a comprehensive overview of the program’s guidelines and summary, ensuring you have all the
information you need at your fingertips.

San Mateo County Health Foundation - Logo Transparent

San Mateo County Health Foundation, incorporated in 1989, is a public 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting San Mateo Medical Center and county clinics.

San Mateo County Health Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Tax ID #94-3116070