SANTA ROSA -- The Southwest Community Health Center has launched a push to raise a final $1.3 million in community grants by a Jan. 31 deadline or risk losing the opportunity for low-cost bond financing for a $17.8 million clinic to serve the swelling ranks of under- and uninsured.

With the agreement to purchase a 42,500-square-foot building in the Fountaingrove area of Santa Rosa, the Southwest Community Health Center recently won approval for $15.2 million in bond financing for the clinic that would increase its capacity by 40 percent.

To date, Southwest has raised about $1.2 million toward the $2.5 million community fundraising campaign and must raise the remainder to meet the terms of the bond financing. Southwest is contributing $500,000 of its own funds toward the project.

“We plan to make extensive renovations to our new home at 3569 Round Barn Circle that will transform it into a greatly expanded health center with a tentative opening set for the fall of next year,” said Naomi Fuchs, Southwest chief executive officer.  “The new facility ... will increase our present capacity by over 40 percent and enable us to serve an additional 9,500 patients, as well as meet growing health care needs.  The day when everyone in our community has access to the health care they deserve is at hand, but we still need support from members of the community to complete our financial package.”

According to Jesika Jennings, capital campaign manager for the Southwest Community Health Center, additional financial support has also come from Kaiser Permanente, Frank and Kathleen Mayhew, the Codding Foundation, Mike and Suzy Marzalek, the Ernest L. and Ruth W. Finley Foundation, the Tides Foundation and Exchange Bank, as well as from other private donations.

Founded in 1992, today Southwest is the largest community health center in Sonoma County with seven locations in Santa Rosa serving almost 25,000 patients a year – a majority of whom live below the federal poverty level. Locations include the Lombardi Court Health Center, Chanate Family Practice Center, Santa Rosa Homeless Clinic, Elsie Allen Health Center, Roseland Children’s Health Center, Southwest Adult Day Services and the Turning Point Satellite Clinic.

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