La Clinica de la Raza and its friends and neighbors celebrated "halfway home" Thursday in the construction of a bigger clinic to maintain the health of its patients in the Monument Boulevard corridor.
Since 2003, La Clinica Monument Health Center in Pleasant Hill has provided the community with affordable, culturally sensitive health care, according to a La Clinica brochure. The new facility on Sierra Road in Concord, scheduled to open in January, will be more than three times as big.
In the last five years, said La Clinica CEO Jane Garcia, the number of patients from the Monument corridor is up 400 percent, with that trajectory perhaps growing steeper with the passage of President Barack Obama's national health care law last year.
"Our dream of having access for all is going to come true," said Garcia.
The new facility will have 68 full-time workers and pump $14 million into the local economy through 2016, she said.
Maria Visintini, a community member who is "a privileged patient," spoke at the ceremony about how the La Clinica staff in crowded quarters in Pleasant Hill delivers care and compassion "with smiles, heart and soul."
"One is grateful to be treated with such warmth," said Visintini, who is a Holocaust survivor.
Among those on hand were officials from Contra Costa County, Concord and other cities in the area.
One of the investors in LaClinica in Contra Costa County has been UnitedHealthGroup.
The La Clinica news release about the event follows:
COMMUNITY LEADERS CELEBRATE CONSTRUCTION MILESTONE FOR LA CLINICA DE LA RAZA’S NEW CONCORD FACILITY
- New 17,000-square-foot facility will more than triple patient capacity to nearly 15,000 annually; expand medical and dental services, mental health and senior citizen programs for Contra Costa County residents
- New facility is an important milestone as La Clínica celebrates 40 years of service in the Bay Area
CONCORD, Calif. (JUNE 16, 2011) – Community leaders joined together today to celebrate the midway construction point of La Clínica’s new state-of-the-art health care facility in Concord that will more than triple patient capacity when it opens in early 2012, serving more than 15,000 patients annually.
The 17,000-square-foot clinic, La Clínica Monument, will replace a 5,000 square-foot facility in Pleasant Hill that currently serves 4,000 patients each year.
The new Monument Clinic facility is an important achievement for La Clínica as it celebrates 40 years of providing care to low-income residents of the Bay Area. The new medical facility will have expanded medical, dental and vision services as well as health education, chronic disease management and senior services. The clinic will also provide care for a population at high risk for potentially life threatening but easily treatable conditions, which will reduce costly non-reimbursable emergency room visits.
“We are extremely proud of the new Monument Clinic under construction here in Concord as it is an important milestone as we celebrate 40 years of service here in the Bay Area,” said Jane Garcia, CEO of La Clínica. “This state-of-the-art facility will triple our capacity and provide one-stop comprehensive health care services to almost 15,000 adults and children each year. The timing of this project is significant as our current facility has reached its maximum capacity.”
A recent dramatic increase in the number of county residents without health insurance, combined with rapid population growth in the Monument Corridor, have overwhelmed the current clinic, making the expanded new facility critically important to the region. Since 2008, there has been a 50 percent increase in Medi-Cal patients and the current facility now functions beyond maximum capacity.
La Clínica began a $10.6 million capital campaign in 2009 with over $2 million in vital seed money coming from John Muir Mount Diablo Community Health Fund, Thomas J. Long Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and HEDCO Foundation.
La Clínica was able to move forward with the renovation of the facility after UnitedHealth Group, whose UnitedHealthcare business offers health benefits to millions of Californians, invested $3.9 million in La Clínica by purchasing the nonprofit’s tax-exempt revenue bonds through the California Health Care Investment Program. The program gives California health care entities access to capital at rates that are highly competitive with those of conventional financing. In addition, UnitedHealth Group provided more than $700,000 in grants to pay for the costs of a bond issuance, which was secured by a letter of credit from Union Bank, N.A. La Clínica was also awarded approximately $1 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
“In these challenging economic times, facilities like this are providing vital care to those most in need and we are honored to be able to support them and help them expand their reach through our California Health Care Investment Program,” said Dan Rosenthal, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Northern California.
The new clinic is also expected to boost the local economy by injecting approximately $14.3 million a year into the community by 2016. By 2016, the facility is expected to provide 68 full-time jobs, purchase $8.7 million in goods and services directly from local businesses and create $5.6 million in “induced” purchases generated by related sectors and increased household incomes. The new facility is also being built using environmentally sustainable materials and techniques. The facility will be solar powered and LEED certified.
“We are very proud to be one of the major donors to the new La Clínica Monument Clinic,” said Grace Caliendo, President and CEO of John Muir/Mt. Diablo Community Health Fund. “We take our commitment to supporting community health providers very seriously and are pleased to help facilitate expanded health services for this region. This new facility will provide state-of-the art equipment and services to residents, which are vital as the population and need for services continues to grow.”
The La Clínica de La Raza Monument Clinic is scheduled to open in January. For more information about the facility and La Clínica clinics in the Bay Area, visit www.laclinica.org.