Los Angeles: New Downey Family Health Care Center project
September 07, 2010 - United States
By Dr. Natalie Nevins and Dr. Martina Fuchs
Downey Family Health Care Center
September 1, 2010
Downey Family Health Center we support is expanding it’s program support in Los Angeles, which provides access to health services to low income populations through a new service delivery site in collaboration with Family Health Care Centers of Greater Los Angeles (FHCCGLA)
The new site is located within FHCCGLA’s defined service delivery area will serve the same target population, uninsured and vulnerable community residents. There are large numbers of residents living at or below the poverty level in census tracts surrounding the new service delivery location. FHCCGLA has/will enter into a 10-year lease for the new health center location. The addition of the DFHCC was approved by FHCCGLA’s board of directors in June 2010.
The new service delivery site will operate under the auspices of FHCCGLA in collaboration with Downey Regional Medical Center (DRMC). The DFHCC site blends two mutually beneficial objectives of providing access to health services for low-income and uninsured populations while serving as a training site for the next generation of health care practitioners, many of whom choose to continue to practice in underserved communities beyond their training.
Dr. Natalie Nevins will serve as the site director for DFHCC, while also serving as the Director of Medical Education at DRMC. Dr. Nevins has been the driving force in securing initial funding for the new health center. She has been able to rally the community to provide significant in-kind and tangible donations to the project. Dr. Nevins will additionally provide direct care as a part-time provider at the new site and implement linkages to the Family Medicine Residency Program and Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine Residency programs at DRMC.
DRMC will provide clinical internships and residency training serving as the primary practice location under the direction of Dr. Nevins. In addition to providing free rent for the clinic, DRMC will provide: one attending Physician two days/week; five second-year Residents two days/week; seven three-year Residents two days/week; and three fourth-year Residents 1.5 days/week. As part of their training, these physicians will maintain a provider relationship with patients at the DFHCC over the course of their three year training program. Patients will be transitioned to a new physician during the first year of training while working in conjunction with the senior resident assigned to the patient. The clinic will introduce new workforce capacity to the current system extending access to patients for primary and urgent care, while introducing future providers to the community.
FHCCGLA will address the major health needs of the target population within the service area, which includes: prevention, diagnosis, and treatment for chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease; immunization, prevention and treatment for illnesses before they become life-threatening, such as pneumonia and influenza; and prevention and screening for cancer.
We will additionally tailor services to meet the needs of the target population in order to motivate them to use the health center as their medical home. Because the majority of the target population is Latino/Hispanic, services will be provided in a linguistically and culturally appropriate manner. Many immigrants have little working knowledge of the complexities of the U.S. health care system.
In order to best serve the target population, we will provide health educators and providers that speak Spanish, understand Latino/Hispanic culture, and provide low literacy level literature or educational materials in Spanish for the large number of individuals in the target population that have not attained at least a ninth grade education. This ensures that the target population will understand service availability and preventive health care approaches so that they effectively utilize health services.
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