Skip to main content

Connecting for Health: Spring 2018

By May 4, 2018November 24th, 2020No Comments

Leveling the Playing Field in Health Care

by Mitesh Popat, MD, MPH

These days, health care and uncertainty seem to go together. Families worry about insurance coverage and community clinics fear that government funding may be drastically reduced.

Despite the turmoil, Marin Community Clinics remains strong and is here to stay. (Our collaborative effort with the County of Marin to transfer dental and medical specialty services is a recent success.) This year, more than ever before, we are committed to ensuring access to health care for everyone… READ MORE

Photo: Stuart Lirette

Managing Diabetes through Lifestyle Changes

Two Patient Stories

Twenty three years ago, Francis Castillo (now 53 years old and a Greenbrae resident) emigrated from Mexico to find a better life for her children. “I’ve had a lot of troubles in my life, including depression and domestic violence,” she says, “all of which created a lot of stress.

Ayah El-Beshbeeshy, a Clinics registered dietician, explains that life style issues and genetics are the main causes of Type 2 diabetes. In addition to food and exercise, stress can also play a role in blood sugar levels.


Program Highlight

Our Nutrition and Exercise Program

Q&A with JoAnn Gruener RD, MPH, CDE, Nutrition & Health Education Director

Q. Why does Marin Community Clinics have a special Nutrition and Exercise Program?

A.  We see nutritious food and exercise as medicine, and ensuring that our patients have access to both is key to providing whole person care. Many of our patients have challenges in their daily lives that make it difficult to eat healthy food or get exercise.


Volunteer Spotlight: Marty Frankel, RN, MFT

In 2015, when Marin Community Clinics took on coordination of the Health Hubs, we asked the Marin Medical Reserve Corps (MMRC) if it could provide licensed volunteers to help with the health screenings.

Marty Frankel, RN, MFT, an MMRC member and Inverness resident, immediately stepped up to the plate. Once a month, for the past two years, she has volunteered at our San Rafael Health Hub to conduct screenings for conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. When screenings indicate that someone is high risk for problems, she facilitates scheduling medical appointments, or even getting them to a hospital emergency department.


Clinics Physicians Tapped as Health Champions

Two Marin Community Clinics’ physicians, Tracey Hessel, MD and Elizabeth Shaw, MD, have been named to a prestigious fellowship with the State Department of Public Health and the University of California (San Francisco).

Harnessing the passion of health care providers 

For the next two years, they are participating in a statewide Champion Provider Fellowship Program that was developed to harness the passion of health care providers to improve community health beyond the clinic setting. The primary focus: to address the obesity epidemic, which is leading to devastating and costly diseases such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease – conditions that disproportionately affect low income, under-served communities.


Donor/Volunteer Profile:
Doris Hunker & Nancy Schlegel

Community members who donate or volunteer are key to our success. Meet two women who are committed to doing both.

The first time Greenbrae residents Doris Hunker and Nancy Schlegel visited Marin Community Clinics – at the former trailer site on Marin General Hospital’s campus – they knew they wanted to get involved. “It was just fantastic,” reports Nancy. “We were so impressed with the diversity of the patients and the way the staff dealt with everyone.”

That visit sparked a commitment that continues to this day. They made an initial donation, but didn’t stop there.


What’s New at Marin Community Clinics?

Clinics recognized as health center quality leader

Marin Community Clinics has received the prestigious Certificate of Achievement from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the federal body that oversees federally-funded community health centers. … READ MORE

County services transfer a success

On April 19th, leaders from the Clinics, the County of Marin and the community attended an Open House at our San Rafael Campus Clinic to learn about the … READ MORE

Behavioral health providers hold summit

In late March, Marin Community Clinics and Beacon Health Options hosted an important gathering – the first-ever “Health Neighborhood Event: A Behavioral Health Summit in – Marin County.”  … READ MORE

Save the Date:

2018 Summer Solstice Celebration

This year’s Summer Solstice Celebration will be held on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross. This annual fundraising event offers a magical evening of delicious food & drink, musical entertainment, and good company. This year, for the first time, we will add an auction to the festivities.

Event honors Community Health Champions

This year’s event will honor our 2018 Community Health Champions, each of whom is deeply committed to the well-being of our patients: urologist Patrick Bennett, MD; Dental Advisory Committee member Barbara Cancilla, RDAEF; and, Senior Director of Medical Clinic Services Susan Wiebers. Marin is a healthier place to call home because of their dedication and compassion.

Get your tickets now before we sell out!

We invite you to support our patients and celebrate with us. Tickets are $150 per person and are available for purchase online through June 17 at

If you would like to make a donation online rather than through the mail, please visit If you would like a tour of our Clinics,
please email or call 415-526-8527.