Most of us can vividly recall the uneasy feelings we experienced when news of the global pandemic took hold. The fear of uncertainty – not knowing what the future would bring. Soon, everything changed: The way we do business, our daily routines, how we communicate, and how we live. For Marin Community Clinics, strategic plans were placed on hold, priorities adjusted, patient care moved from in-person to virtual, and energies were channeled toward a single cause: fighting the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Through the coordinated and ongoing effort to treat, test, and vaccinate community members and patients, Marin’s COVID-19 response took the national spotlight. It was the model for success. While it’s important to note the pandemic is not over, it seems the worst is behind us, and the Clinics has played a key role in the local response.
Widespread economic fallout and hardship created by the pandemic aren’t going away. As the Clinics revisits and reshapes its plans for the future, the pandemic and the lessons learned remain top-of-mind. One positive outcome markedly supports the Clinics’ mission, and will help guide the way forward: More people than ever understand that a healthier and more productive community isn’t just better – it’s essential for all of us.
The Burgeoning Demand
The demand for affordable and comprehensive medical, dental, and behavioral health services, while certainly exacerbated by the pandemic, existed well before it hit. That’s due to a multitude of factors. Marin’s booming aging population (among the highest in the Bay Area) means that more older adults require successful aging care and services tailored to their needs, which are often complex.
In addition, those without insurance (or private insurance) have very limited options for providers that will accept them as patients locally. The Clinics’ dental program offers those with Medi-Cal or without insurance a full scope of preventative, restorative, and emergency services. However, our dentists are operating at capacity. With only approximately half of the Clinics’ medical patients receiving dental care currently, far too many are forgoing oral health care, which is essential to well-being. As the pandemic has compounded these issues, the need for care has grown exponentially.
A Renewed Perspective
In response, Marin Community Clinics is launching an expansion plan that aims to improve access to care for patients, and anyone in the community that may need it. “The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a renewed perspective on the importance of community-minded, equitable healthcare,” explains Clinics’ CEO Dr. Mitesh Popat. “The populations hardest hit were also the most vulnerable in the community.”
Seeking to lift up individuals and families in need, and boost access to care for patients across the County, the Clinics’ expansion plan aims to eliminate the idea of the medically “underserved,” and secure the future of equitable healthcare in Marin for the next decade and beyond.
Introducing: The Campaign for the Next Decade
As Marin Community Clinics has expanded its impact and built lasting trust within the community, the work is not done. The Clinics is launching its first capital campaign in thirteen years: The Campaign for the Next Decade. In effort to raise a total of $8 million to fund four major projects, the campaign is the Clinics’ aggressive and resilient response to meet the need for services within the community head-on.
The projects include the new Greenbrae Medical Clinic, the expansion of dental services in downtown San Rafael, a new medical and behavioral health clinic in San Rafael’s West End, and an investment in hiring top medical professionals.
Visit marinclinic.org/campaign to read the Case for Support, and learn more about the four major projects that will secure the future of equitable heatlhcare in Marin.