Over 75 people packed the Northeast Valley Health Corporation’s Newhall Health Center on Tuesday morning, eager to celebrate at the grand opening ceremony.
“We can’t do what we do in a community like this without this,” said Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, as he gestured around the gathered crowd. “This center is going to make our community better. This is a connection.”
Knight presented a plaque on behalf of Congress to the NEVHC Chief Executive Officer Kim Wyard. Other local officials, such as Mayor Pro Tem Marsha McLean, Chamber of Commerce Chairman Troy Hooper and representatives from State Sen. Scott Wilk and Assemblyman Dante Acosta’s office also honored the organization as part of National Health Center Week.
Wyard was thrilled to open the center in Newhall on Lyons Avenue, an ideal location for the community in the area.
“Newhall is one of the highest need communities,” she said. “We also chose this location for its proximity to the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and the Rainbow Dental Center.
In the first week of its April opening, the Newhall Health Center, as the health care service provider is known, serviced 40 patients.
Since then, that number has grown to 200, with the center seeing about 6,000 to 7,000 patients as of this month, said Kurt Cabrera-Miller, the NVHC board chairman.
“Typically, low-income families would have to wait until they got really sick and then go to hospitals,” he said. “Then they can’t pay the bills, so the hospitals incur charges… but if they’re inclined to come here and take care of their health before it’s in detriment, then we can offset that. We serve everybody here, we don’t turn anyone away.”
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.
The $1.5 million capital campaign for the center began in February 2016, said Chief Operations Officer Missy Nitescu. Donors included the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, the city of Santa Clarita and Barger’s 5th District.
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.