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.
Making a lasting impact on individual and community health
Now, more than ever before, we understand the necessity of “going deeper” than just offering basic medical and dental care.
If we are going to make a lasting impact on the health of individuals and the community as a whole, we must play a strong role in addressing the core issues that affect health. It’s a long list – lack of access to healthy food, transportation, and community resources; lack of information about risk factors and healthy lifestyles; and, more complex issues such as environmental stress, addiction, and trauma.
Leveling the Playing Field
At Marin Community Clinics, we frequently talk about “leveling the playing field in health care” and “going the extra mile.” We mean it!
To that end, we have:
- increased our focus on prevention of chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension
- expanded our patient navigation services
- created support groups and educational sessions for patients
- developed a Dental Bravery Coach Program
- hired addiction specialists
- continued to enhance our behavioral health program, with emphasis on trauma assessment and treatment
- partnered with key organizations such as the County of Marin, First 5, UCSF, and coalitions of community clinics to develop innovative programs to address core issues, fill gaps in services, and advocate for accessible and affordable care.
Given the continuing uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act and other developments on the national scene – such as concerns about reproductive rights and immigration policy – our work is more
important than ever. With your help, Marin Community Clinics is not only here to stay, but has the resources and expertise to do more to improve the health of our community.