SANTA ROSA — The Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, formerly known as Southwest, plans to announce as early as this week that it will move ahead with its $17.7 million Fountaingrove medical facility.
The center, which recently changed its name to reflect its growing presence, has expanded rapidly since opening in 1996 — it currently serves 25,000 patients and receives 100,000 visits each year, primarily from people who live below the federal poverty line.
It’s second only to Kaiser Permanente in primary care patients served in Santa Rosa and has experienced 20 percent to 30 percent growth every year for the past eight years, according to Capital Campaign Manager Jesika Jennings.
The center said last week that it has successfully raised $2.1 million for the new clinic that will accommodate an additional 10,000 people in Santa Rosa, including a $500,000 infusion from the county.
In December, the center had raised $1.2 million toward the cause and said it would need an additional $1.3 million for a bond measure of $15.2 million.
In addition to the county funding, the center received significant contributions from Kaiser, at $350,000; Sutter Health, at $250,000; and $100,000 apiece from St. Joseph Health System-Sonoma County, the Ernest L. and Ruth W. Finely Foundation and individual donor Kathie Mayhew.
The group's fundraising campaign is ongoing.
The money from the county will be drawn from a fund created in 1996 as a result of the former Community Hospital’s lease from Sutter Health.
With seven locations in Santa Rosa, it is the largest community health center in Sonoma County. As such, officials said the plan to purchase and renovate a 42,500-square-foot building on Round Barn Circle is a critical step in meeting the ever-increasing needs of the uninsured in Santa Rosa, which has swelled recently as much of the state continues to reel in light of the recession.
The need is so great that new patients have to wait roughly three months before their first visit, and the center expects 10,000 to 15,000 new patients within the next five years.
“Right now we get 200 calls a week from new patients that are not part of those 25,000” already-served patients, Ms. Jennings said.
She attributed the increase in need to both the growing reputation of the center and the bleak economy and unemployment rate in California.
The existing locations are 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.