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Santa Rosa Community Health Centers sees increasing demands

[caption id="attachment_27337" align="alignright" width="360" caption="CEO Naomi Fuchs and Chief Medical Officer Francisco Trilla of the Vista Community Health Center on Round Barn Circle in Santa Rosa"][/caption]

Illness has a way of focusing a person’s attention on what is most valuable in their life. Fears, worries and anxieties about daily tasks become a lot less important when your parent is diagnosed with cancer or your child has a high fever or if you can’t afford your medicine for diabetes.

Getting help when you need it and sometimes before you need it is really important. In health care we call this access. Without access, people and communities get sicker, and communities waste precious resources. Primary care providers have an apt saying regarding access, “health care delayed is health care denied” – often with adverse consequences for the elderly and children and ultimately all of us.

Primary care providers are committed to being there when our patients need our help, and we are committed to doing all we can to help them get better and stay healthy.

Primary care medicine is the most complex discipline in health care. It requires providers to have the broadest knowledge and skills along with the stamina, discipline and flexibility to bring those skills to bear every minute of every day on behalf of our patients and community.

If you work as a doctor or nurse at one of the seven community health centers in Sonoma County, you do not have the option of saying, “This is not my area, not convenient, not my responsibility, not an accepted insurance or not my job” – ever.

At Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, a federally qualified community health center, we have committed to working with the most challenging and vulnerable of patients – the underinsured and uninsured – regardless of ability to pay.

This is complex, challenging and exceedingly important work, particularly at this time in our nation’s history when unemployment and under employment have added thousands of patients to our communities. Many of these patients have nowhere else to turn for access to care. At the same time, health care economics and politics have reduced the resources to provide access to Medi-Cal and Medicare patients. Increasingly, these patients are turning to us for help.

When people arrive at Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, they find a first-class primary care medical group with the ability, resources and teamwork to provide access to high quality care. Each person has their own provider working within a team-based model of care. In short, we provide a health home for each person throughout their lifetime.

Several key factors help us provide care to our patients:

Our staff includes more than 250 carefully selected dedicated health care workers functioning as coordinated health care teams at eight sites throughout Santa Rosa, including our new state of the art Vista Family Health Center and our flagship clinic, Southwest Community Health Center on Lombardi Court.

We have accomplished and experienced administrative and physician leaders with a proven record of success in Santa Rosa and Sonoma County. The UCSF/Santa Rosa Family Practice Residency Program is one of the strongest and most highly regarded programs in our country. It has provided generations of health care providers and leaders in Sonoma County and will continue to be a major center for innovation and research in community health care.

We have effective health care partners with whom we share responsibility for access to care including six other community health centers in Sonoma County, the Redwood Community Health Coalition, public health officials, health advocacy groups and Sutter Medical Center, Memorial Hospital and Kaiser.

Our community has entrusted us with the challenging mission of providing and expanding high quality primary care access to each and every person who seeks care. We are grateful for that trust and are committed to justifying it every day with every patient.

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Francisco Trilla, M.D., is the chief medical officer for Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, formerly Southwest Community Center.