United States

Outreach programs at Nuestra Clinica Update

November 27, 2009

Carly Panchura

The July of 2008, Carol Daugherty and Greg Jahangiri opened the Nuestra Clinica in Boyle Heights. From its inception, the clinic has been built on the principal of providing patient oriented healthcare with a focus on bridging the gap left by many health plans that are often limited in coverage and scope of care. Those without coverage are not turned away even if they are unable to pay the low treatment fees.

The Clinic currently has over 1300 active patients and provides 125-150 patients per week with general care such as: physicals, vaccinations, STD testing and treatments, gynecological and obstetric care among others. 99% of the clinic’s patients qualify for one of the government-run programs (all patients are between 150-200% the poverty line in order to qualify for clinic programs.

Ninety five percent of Boyle Heights residents are Hispanic/Latino[i](99% of the Clinic’s patient speak Spanish only). Many are first generation or new generation immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. This is a vastly underserved community in terms of medical services available. Residents in this community have a family income of $25,921, according to the most recent census (source: http://www.laalmanac.com/population/po24la.htm )

Throughout 2009, Real Medicine Foundation has partnered with Nuestra Clinica to expand the services offered at the clinic in order to treat the “whole person”. RMF has introduced health and nutrition classes, exercise classes including yoga, and numerous creative courses for children such as arts and crafts. Through these outreach programs we are creating a safe place where kids can learn new skills, interact with others, and have fun. All patients and their children are able to participate in RMF’s community outreach programs.

Six to ten children participate regularly in the Saturday courses ranging in age from 4 to 15 years old and parents (who frequently jump in and exercise and learn along with their children). Roz Baker teaches a fitness class to music, and Daria Hines and Lynn Gardner, provide kids yoga classes once per month. The class instructors energize the participants, getting their heart rates up for the duration of the class. Participants often challenge each other to work on their fitness goals at home, making this program a success in the observable transfer of skills learned in the classes to the attendees’ home environments.

The Real Medicine Foundation also provides pre-natal courses to pregnant women at the Clinic. The courses are conducted by an ACE Certified Trainer and Group Instructor and teach mothers to work out smart, eat healthy, and have fun doing it. The course is geared at women even if they have not worked out before. Mothers are taught what activities to do and what not to do during a pregnancy. Finally, volunteer Lisa Vacca provides reading and art at the Clinic. The books chosen focus on mental/emotional health which opens the children up for discussion on everyday stresses/challenges.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Sarah Stern at sarah@realmedicinefoundation.org. 

Country Page: United States Initiative Page: Outreach Programs at Nuestra Clinica