Seated inside a glassy waiting room, Patrick Salazar came to work Friday knowing full well what was expected of him: He was to be stabbed by one of his colleagues before an audience of cameras. And he couldn鈥檛 care less.

Kern's largest health plan, dipping again into its financial reserves for the sake of local underserved communities, on Thursday came up with $20 million to help address what it sees as the biggest challenges facing the delivery of health care across the county.

Dignity Health Mercy and Memorial Hospitals partnered again this giving season to donate money for grants that will be distributed among eight Kern County nonprofits. The goal is to fund health and social initiatives identified by the Mercy and Memorial Community Health Needs Assessment.