Message from the CEO
50 Years Strong: La Clínica’s Multi-Generational Impact
As I reflect on the history of La Clínica, the word that comes to mind is tenacity. For over 50 years, La Clínica has been key to ensuring that communities in the East Bay, especially diverse and medically underserved populations, have access to health care that is affordable, high quality, and both culturally and linguistically appropriate. As a community health center, we have strived to deliver comprehensive health services that truly make an impact locally and serve as a national model of success.
Over the course of this COVID-19 pandemic, our staff and our community have faced many challenges. But it’s in the face of challenge that the true character of an individual, an organization, or a community reveals itself. Time and again, we have shown how our resilience and our strength have helped us navigate difficult times with gratitude and grace. Our staff are mission-oriented problem-solvers who work beyond the exam room to care for the whole person. They not only provided medical care but also supported patients and their families in their most dire time of need through direct referrals to necessities like food, housing, and financial assistance services. They cared for patients even as they faced a changing public health emergency.
But the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t the first challenge we have experienced. We have carried on through many challenging times since we served our first patient in 1971. Throughout, we have never once lost sight of our purpose and are proud of our many accomplishments through the decades. The community health center movement has always been about providing access to high-quality health care to all. This has been the foundation upon which we have built our system of care to support our wide range of services that help our communities thrive. We have prioritized workforce development by hiring from the community and ensuring that Community Health Workers are part of the care team and the overall health system. We have expanded into new service areas such as Vallejo, Oakley, Pittsburg, and Concord and extended access for hard-to-reach populations. We have intentionally worked with our local and state partners, such as the Alameda Health Consortium and California Primary Care Association, as well as our sister clinics throughout the nation, to not only sustain our efforts but to expand them.
We can see the fruits of our labor in healthier communities and in progressive health care policies. For example, after decades of advocacy, California is on the cusp of providing health care coverage to all low-income immigrants and making low-income adults eligible for Medicaid by 2024. This is a major victory and a validation of the work we have been doing since our founding. The expansion of Medicaid and challenging our State leadership to get to this point is something we are particularly proud of. We continue to advocate for programs that recognize the importance of support services that address the social determinants of health and reduce the health disparities facing the communities we serve.
Our winning strategy has always been to work in partnership with others. We could not have done any of this without the support of our donors, colleagues, board members, and community partners, who have wholeheartedly embraced our Mission and our commitment to expanding health care access for all. Moving forward, we will take the lessons learned in the last 50 years to innovate our way into the future, meet our clients where they are, and help our communities thrive for the next 50 years and for generations to come.
¡Sí se puede!
Jane García, La Clínica CEO