SONOMA COUNTY – The county’s largest federally qualified clinic, Southwest Community Health Center, will soon more than double its west Santa Rosa capacity with the signing of a lease with St. Joseph Health System Sonoma County.

Officials finalized the deal in the first week of November, adding about 2,500 square feet in the same building as the existing clinic.

[caption id="attachment_16683" align="alignleft" width="108" caption="Naomi Fuchs"][/caption]

“We receive about 200 calls a week from new patients seeking care, and we are not able to serve about half of those people, simply because we don’t have the room,” said Southwest Community Health Center Chief Executive Officer Naomi Fuchs.

The health care provider to the uninsured, low-income and underinsured is also completing a $2 million capital campaign, which will be used to acquire bond financing for the lease of a new clinic in east Santa Rosa. Officials are still completing leasing agreements, but the 60,000-square-foot deal should be finalized by December, according to Ms. Fuchs.

Clinic officials are currently collecting bids for the renovation of the new space that formerly housed several of St. Joseph's community outreach programs. The Santa Rosa Memorial and Petaluma Valley Hospital operator will continue to provide children’s dental care from the 751 Lombardi Court site, but others were absorbed into its Rohnert Park urgent care center.

“We knew Southwest had been eyeing that space for years, and it was a good move for us because we were able to move all of our community benefits partners under one roof,” said St. Joseph Community Outreach Executive Director Kathy Ficco.

Ms. Fuchs said the new space will allow the addition of seven new exam rooms and the equivalent of about 2.5 full-time providers.  The rooms will be ready for use sometime in the first two quarters of next year and split between primary care and mental health. Southwest has also leased about 1,900 square feet in the neighboring building at 791 Lombardi Court, which will be used for administration and accounting services.