County Supervisor Kathryn Barger delivered a six-figure Los Angeles County contribution to the Northeast Valley Health Corp.’s fourth community center in the Santa Clarita Valley on Friday
Los Angeles County 5th District Supervisor Kathryn Barger took her first official tour of the, a center that exists to help underinsured or uninsured patients access primary medical care.
Barger delivered an oversized check representing a $132,333 contribution from Los Angeles County, which she symbolically presented to the center officials at the end of the tour.
In the first week of its April opening, the Newhall Health Center, as the new health care service provider is known, serviced 40 patients. Now in its second month open, it serviced 195 patients in the last week, among them ones who are underinsured or uninsured and/or in need of low-cost health care, according to clinic administrator Hector Godoy.
The center is looking to ease the strain on emergency rooms around the SCV, said Rosa Guerrero, director of public relations, marketing and community affairs. With all of its resources on site, hospitals and taxpayers don’t have to foot the bill to treat patients with non-urgent conditions, said Paula Kuhlman, a physician with the center.
The new health center contains 14 exam rooms, two special procedure rooms, a lab and Woman, Infants and Children program providing comprehensive health and nutrition services to those in need of health care figure out how they qualify. Additionally, there is also business office staff trained in helping patients with the health care process, in case they don’t speak English or haven’t filed the necessary paperwork to receive the insurance they need.
“We don’t turn anyone away,” Kuhlman said of the center’s ability to help underinsured patients.
The $1.5 million capital campaign for the center began in February 2016, said COO Missy Nitescu. Donors included the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, the city of Santa Clarita and Barger’s 5th District.
“The demand for cost-efficient care in the Santa Clarita Valley has outweighed available resources,” said Kimberly Wyard, CEO of Northeast Valley Health Corp. “The Newhall Health Center provides medical care to people in need of preventive and primary health care services, chronic disease management and reduces the number of unnecessary visits to local emergency rooms.”
The network of community health centers nationwide save $24 billion for the health care system annually by providing services that range from medical, dental, behavioral health to patients who call them their medical home, according to the National Association of Community Health Centers.
The new community health center is located at 23413 Lyons Avenue in the Old Orchard Center, in Newhall.