Health Care: Petaluma Health Center breaks ground on $15.5 million facility

Financed via bonds, stimulus; ‘we provide a true medical home’

The Petaluma Health Center last week broke ground on an expansion that will double its patient volume and significantly increase services offered at the federally qualified health center.

[caption id="attachment_24163" align="alignright" width="360"] The Petaluma Health Center last week broke ground on an expansion that will double its patient volume and significantly increase services offered at the federally qualified health center.[/caption]

In early June, the center purchased a 53,000-square-foot vacant building on North McDowell Boulevard after receiving a $5.87 million loan from UnitedHealth Group and $8.9 million in federal stimulus money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The center was one of 85 federally qualified health centers in the country to receive ARRA funds, officials said.

On hand to celebrate the groundbreaking were state Sen. Mark Leno, D-Marin; Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael; and Petaluma Mayor Pamela Torliatt, who offered praise for the center’s staff and its chief executive, Kathie Powell, for serving as a vital health net that will have an increasing importance in the delivery of health care.

[caption id="attachment_24164" align="alignleft" width="108"] Kathryn Powell[/caption]

“We provide a true medical home,” Ms. Powell said, adding that the current site, at 15,000 square feet, is far too small for the services offered. “We converted bathrooms,” at the existing center, which serves 15,000 patients a year with over 75,000 annual visits, she said. The number of patients is expected to double with the new location, which is slated to open by June 1 of next year. Construction is expected to begin this November.

[caption id="attachment_24165" align="alignright" width="108"] Mark Leno[/caption]


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