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Connecting for Health Fall 2016

By September 26, 2016November 24th, 2020No Comments

Partnerships – We Couldn’t Do without Them!Linda Tavaszi CEO

By Linda Tavaszi, PhD, CEO

Marin County is making great strides in closing the gap between people who have easy access to quality health care and those who don’t. But we need to do more.

Partnerships, where we work together to solve problems and provide services, have become essential if we are to further improve the health of the overall community. And they can make a real difference in the lives of individual patients.


When Our Patients Need Cancer Care

Receiving a diagnosis of cancer is frightening and the care can be complex, debilitating and expensive. At Marin Community Clinics, we don’t provide diagnostic workups or treatment for cancer, so we work with our partners
in the medical community to ensure that our patients receive the best possible – and prompt – care.

One woman’s story

Partnership Profile: Marin Cancer Care

In Marin, we are fortunate to have strong medical expertise in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Marin Cancer Care, Marin General Hospital, Novato Community Hospital, and Kaiser Permanente are among the dedicated cancer providers serving Marin’s low-income residents.
Marin Cancer Care has been serving the community since it was founded by Peter Eisenberg, MD in 1978.


Nutritious Meals for Cancer Patients

Pilot Project Launched

This fall, the Clinics and Ceres Community Project, a regional, not-for-profit organization that provides free, nutritious food to those in need, launched a pilot program to serve cancer patients.

Once a week, for a three month period, a small group of Clinics patients and their families will have meals delivered to their homes by Ceres volunteers.

“We’re really excited about this program,” reports Meilyn Santana, MPA, the Clinics’ Director of Outreach and Referrals. “When someone has cancer, having a healthy diet is essential. But, sometimes there just aren’t the financial resources or the energy to put a healthy meal on the table. This program can really make a difference for the entire family.”

Spotlight: Larkspur Clinic Leadership

Diane Khaoone and Xavier Perez, MD are a “dynamic duo,” working hand-in-hand to ensure that patients at the Larkspur Clinic receive the highest possible quality care.

The Clinic, which moved from the Marin General campus in 2014, provides adult primary care, family planning and reproductive services, behavioral health and psychiatric services, and a number of specialty medical services. It may be the smallest of the Clinics’ four primary care sites, but it’s a  busy place, with an average 255 patient visits/month.

Khaoone oversees the operations – supervising staff, monitoring patient flow, and coordinating schedules. As Site Medical Director, Dr. Perez…


Q&A with Tonya Watson, OD, PhD, Lead Optometrist

Q Why is it important that vision problems be addressed?

A We all know the importance of having good vision, but many don’t know how critical it is to identify and address vision problems early on. Children need to be evaluated for near- or farsightedness when they are young. Although nearsightedness is easily corrected, farsightedness is
another story. If it is not immediately addressed, it can lead to “lazy eye.” This condition is impossible to correct later in life and the child will never be able to see well with or without glasses if they are not treated when they are young.

Q  What services do you offer?

A  In January 2013, we opened one of the first community clinic optometry programs in the Bay Area. As with many of the Clinics’ programs, it has grown in response to community need. Today, we operate the program five days a week at two sites…


Donor Profile

Carrying out a mother’s legacy – the Cahill Family

Community members who donate are key to our success. Read how two generations of one family have made a difference.

Virtually every day, an adult or child coming to Marin Community Clinics’ Optometry Program is diagnosed with a serious vision problem that could easily be corrected – if only they could afford eyeglasses. When brothers Jay, Jerry and Ned Cahill and their sister Ann Fidanque learned about this need, they stepped up to the plate and created the Cahill Eyeglass Fund.

The Cahill family has a long history of supporting Marin Community Clinics. Their parents, John and Peggy Cahill, raised their family here. “They had had a special place in their hearts for Marin,” says daughter Ann,”and were very aware of people who were struggling with food, housing and access to health care.” 


Why Give to Marin Community Clinics

By John E. Boland, III, DDS, MSD, Board Chair

Making a gift to Marin Community Clinics is an investment in success. It is an investment in an organization that is not only committed to a healthy community, but to growing and changing to meet community needs. We are
proud to be a bridge to compassionate, quality care that many members of our community might not receive if we did not exist.

Charitable contributions are critical to both current services and the long-term sustainability of Marin Community Clinics. We recognize that making a philanthropic contribution is a deeply personal action, so connecting with an organization like ours on a personal level is essential. We encourage every donor or prospective donor to tour the Clinics and witness just how truly unique we are.

How can you help?

  • We gratefully accept standard cash/check/credit card donations to sustain our ‘Margin of Excellence’ through new equipment or programs, and to serve the otherwise uninsured.
  • Contact us with donations of books (both Spanish and English), blankets, clothes, and other lightly used items some of our patients could utilize.
  • We actively seek and welcome Planned Gifts to our Endowment or Reserve Fund, and through our Legacy Circle we honor our thoughtful and generous supporters who wish to have their legacies transcend generations.

For more information about our programs and services, to make a donation, or to discuss a Planned Gift contact a member of our Development Department by phone, 415-798-3169 or by email at Or visit us online at

Going the Extra Mile

Clinic Staff Help Patient Fulfill a Last Wish

Maria is a 62 year old Clinic patient with a severe, life-threatening lung disease. This spring, she told Cara Gutterman, NP, her Clinic nurse practitioner, that she had one last wish – to travel to El Salvador to visit her son. She had not seen him for 21 years.

But there was a problem. A recent medical test indicated that she couldn’t breathe at high altitudes, so it would be impossible to travel by air without an oxygen tank. That’s when the staff stepped in. Stephanie Orozco, CNS, our Director of Nursing, reached out to Medicare to see if they would cover the costs of the $2000 machine, but coverage was denied. So Stephanie turned to Hannah Bickhoff, Patient Care Navigator, to explore options for support from various community partner organizations. Hannah filled out applications and made numerous telephone calls – with success!

Canal Alliance and Marin Advocates donated funds to cover the majority of the costs and we made up the difference. Our staff obtained the machine for Maria and she was on her way to El Salvador – safe and sound.

Earlier this summer, Maria returned from her long trip, with wonderful stories about her son as well as her grandson, whom she had met for the first time. She told us how grateful she was and that whatever happens with her health, she is content!

I’m so proud of the commitment the staff makes to our patients. Maria’s story is just one of many examples where our staff go “above and beyond” to make a difference in their lives.

Mitesh Popat, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer

At Marin Community Clinics, we rely heavily on our dynamic community of donors. It is our donors that allow us to add/enhance programs that provide quality, cost-effective, culturally sensitive, patient-centered health care. Your generous gift supports medical and dental care for children, teens, adults and seniors in need.


Clinics Receives Spirit of Marin Award

Every year, each chamber of commerce in Marin County selects a Business of the Year to recognize at the Bank of Marin’s Spirit of Marin event. This year’s event – held on September 23 – had special meaning for the board and staff of Marin Community Clinics: we were selected by the Hispanic Chamber of Marin as its honoree for the investment we make in the community.

“We were thrilled to nominate the Clinics for this award,” says Cecilia Zamora, Chamber President. “It plays a special role in serving immigrant families, provides high quality, culturally-sensitive care, and continues to expand its services. We also wanted to acknowledge the extraordinary vision of its leader, CEO Linda Tavaszi.”

Our thanks and appreciation to the Hispanic Chamber for this wonderful recognition! A high percentage of our patients are Hispanic, many of whom have special challenges navigating the health care system due to language barriers, income level, or lack of transportation.

It is our honor to serve them and we take great pride in the care we provide to them – and all of our patients.

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