Message from the CEO
La Clínica is effective because our neighborhood-based and patient-directed centers are so intertwined with our communities that they can often identify health needs earlier.
The social movements of the 1960s championed civil rights and social justice. During this time, civil rights activists recognized disparities in health outcomes and care access for low-income and marginalized communities. The concept of community health centers was born from this movement, and it sought to make high-quality and culturally competent health care accessible and affordable for all.
Since 1971, La Clínica has been part of this incredibly important movement. For over 52 years, we have provided care in underserved communities for everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. By design, La Clínica is run by a board of directors composed mainly of our patients, ensuring the care we deliver is tailored to the needs of our communities. From the beginning, La Clínica embraced a philosophy, approach, and commitment to providing patient-centered comprehensive care to improve health and well-being through coordination of medical and dental health, behavioral health, social services, and health education.
La Clínica is effective because our neighborhood-based and patient-directed centers are so intertwined with our communities that they can often identify health needs earlier and design effective community-based solutions before others even understand the underlying dynamics. During the COVID-19 global pandemic, La Clínica quickly demonstrated that it could put additional local, state, and federal investments to work, pivoting to redirect dental clinic staff to testing and infection control. We then effectively leveraged telehealth technology to reduce hospital admissions, readmissions, and emergency department presentations, reducing overall healthcare costs. We took the lessons from the pandemic and strengthened our services. Our legacy, therefore, is one of community service and innovation.
The funding sources of community health centers have changed with time. Yet, studies continue to demonstrate that increased funding to health centers creates additional economic stimulus within and beyond. We are incredibly proud that our decades-long commitment to advocacy and providing care for all is about to benefit from another important milestone. Beginning January 1, 2024, a new law in California will allow adults ages 26 through 49 to qualify for full-scope Medi-Cal, regardless of immigration status. This latest expansion of full-scope Medi-Cal brings our community and our state closer to a Healthy California for All.
In celebrating our achievements and intergenerational impact over the years, we are grateful to all our stakeholders, including our Board of Directors, donors, community partners, patients, and our incredible team of providers and staff. I am reminded of this impact in the most personal way. I was saying hello to a new team member who proudly told me they are a ‘La Clínica baby.’ Then, two other members of staff who were standing close by overheard the conversation and shared that they, too, were born at La Clínica, as were their mothers. It is incredibly profound to be part of this family and to see our La Clínica babies return and serve the community in new and meaningful ways. La Clínica is 52 years old, but we are just getting started.
¡Sí se puede!
Jane García, La Clínica CEO