Addressing the Core Issues that Affect Health
By Mitesh Popat, MD, MPH, CEO
During its early years, Marin Community Clinics had limited resources. Basic medical care was provided by a small group of highly dedicated volunteers and the clinic was located in a church basement. Today, thanks to the extraordinary support of the community, committed Board of Directors, and exceptional staff, we operate state-of-the-art clinics throughout Marin. Our staff of close to 400 provides a range of services that not only includes primary medical care, but also dental, behavioral health, and specialty medical care – and more.
Have we changed? For certain. But what has not changed is the legacy passed on by our founders – a passionate commitment to providing high quality, accessible, and affordable care to disenfranchised community members.
Breaking the Cycle of Trauma
One girl’s story
One night, when Daniela was 11, her parents scooped her out of bed and, without any explanation, they left El Salvador. Her father was being threatened with death if he didn’t pay off gang members and he feared for his family’s safety.
Being suddenly uprooted was very difficult for Daniela– she felt her parents’ stress and missed her friends and grandparents. Crossing over to the U.S. was hard. The family eventually settled in San Rafael, but going to school in Marin was tough for Daniela – she didn’t speak English, was bullied because of her darker skin, and was teased about her parents being deported. Both parents worked several jobs, so weren’t often at home, and there wasn’t a lot of healthy food on the table. In El Salvador, she shared a room with her little brother; here, three families lived in a small, crowded apartment.
When Daniela and her family became Clinics patients, she was showing clear signs of trauma – flashbacks, nightmares, and mood swings.
Dental Bravery Coach Program
Q&A with Connie Kadera, DDS
Chief Dental Officer
What is the Dental Bravery Coach Program?
This is a special program that we provide in collaboration with our Behavioral Health Division to help kids and adults who have anxieties about going to the dentist. We identify patients who are having issues and bring in a Clinics social worker who uses special techniques to help.
Why did the Clinics create this program?
Many of us don’t like going to the dentist – primarily because we are anxious about discomfort and pain. For some time, we’ve observed that many of the kids and adults we treat in our Dental Clinics come with extremely strong fears about being in the dental chair. But it goes beyond that; while we are providing care, they often open up about their life issues.
They may have observed or been victims of physical violence or had negative experiences with dental care in the past, so that having someone (even a dental professional) touch them is frightening.
Ensuring Healthy Moms & Healthy Babies
Our Pregnancy & Parenting Services
The minute we learn that a Clinics patient is pregnant, the entire team puts its arms around her to ensure that she has a healthy pregnancy and baby. She is immediately connected with one of the Clinics obstetrics nurses to plan for her care, and our doctors, nurses, nurse midwives, and behavioral health specialists step into action. When she goes to Marin General Hospital to deliver, a Clinics midwife is part of the team.
Your Contributions Make a Difference
When listening to Dr. Tom Peters, President & CEO of Marin Community Foundation (MCF) and Shirin Vakharia, MCF’s Director of Health & Aging, talk about Marin Community Clinics, it is clear that they are real fans.
“Marin Community Clinics is a significant and much needed provider in Marin,” says Dr. Peters. “Access to health care is a fundamental human right. Until the U.S. has a policy of universal access, there needs to be a respectful and high quality dedicated organization that cares for the underserved. The Clinics is certainly that.”
Two New Leaders Join the Clinics
This Spring, Marin Community Clinics welcomed two new leaders to our team.
Jackie Jones, a seasoned medical administrator, joined us as Director of Medical Operations. Jones has worked as an operations leader for a large private medical group as well as several community health centers, including Petaluma Health Center and Clinica de la Raza, where she served as a …READ MORE
Laurie Mann recently joined us as Dental Operations Director. A long-time dental practice management expert, she has developed and managed dental clinics both nationally and internationally. Her work has included setting up mobile clinics for large employers as well as mobile clinics and a …READ MORE
Marin Community Clinics among highest performing health centers in U.S.
The federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which oversees 1,352 federally-funded community clinics, recently released its annual Quality Leader awards for 2017. Marin Community Clinics was rated among the top 30% in the US for quality as well as the top quality performer among Marin County’s community clinics.
We received high ratings for our work in the following areas: overall quality leader, enhancing access to care, addressing health disparities, patient center medical home, quality improvement efforts, advancing health information technology, and electronic health record reporting.
Call to Action:
Federal Immigration Proposal
Community leaders are mobilizing in response to a proposal from the Trump Administration that would penalize certain immigrants seeking to change their legal status if they receive public benefits or are likely to become a “public charge.”
The proposal would expand the list of public benefits in the “public charge test” to include Medicaid, Medicare Part D subsidies, Section 8 housing, and CalFresh (food subsidies). Under the proposal, this would result in a “heavily weighted negative factor” in reviewing an immigrant’s application.
Dental Program Marks 10th Anniversary
54,000 visits and still going strong
In 2008, Marin Community Clinics opened its first dental clinic for low income residents. In response to a State mandate, we focused most of our efforts on pediatric dentistry. That first year, we operated just six dental chairs and served 5,500 children.
Since then, the program has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, we have 27 dental chairs and 100 staff. We provide care to both adults and children in three state-of-the- art facilities; in 2017, the team provided close to 54,000 services.