SANTA ROSA -- The Santa Rosa Community Health Centers last week celebrated the opening of the Brookwood Health Center, its newest location that will provide primary care and mental health services for mostly homeless and uninsured and underinsured residents.
It's the eighth location for the federally qualified health center. Such health centers are expected to absorb scores of new patients across the country as more obtain health insurance under federal health reforms passed in 2010. In Sonoma County, roughly 45,000 new patients are expected by 2014; across the U.S., some 32 million Americans will obtain access to health care.
The newest center, at the corner of Brookwood and Sonoma avenues, is funded by a $650,000 annual federal grant to expand health care services for homeless people in Sonoma County, as well as a one-time $300,000 grant from the Sonoma County Medical Services Program.
Located at the site of the shuttered Brookwood Homeless Shelter, the health center is expected to provide "much needed access" to affordable health care for 3,400 patients in its first year of operation, according to the health centers.
“We are proud to offer full-scope primary care services and respite care at the Brookwood Health Center. The health center is part of a county-wide partnership to improve health care for people who are homeless," said Naomi Fuchs, Santa Rosa Community Health Centers’ chief executive officer.
Partners include Catholic Charities, Sonoma County Mental Health Services, the Drug Abuse Alternatives Center, the Petaluma Health Center, West County Health Centers, and Sonoma County’s Continuum of Care network, according to Ms. Fuchs.
Starting this month, the Brookwood Health Center will be open full time; it officially began seeing patients on Nov. 21. Services at that point will expand to include substance abuse counseling and a co-located, 24-hour respite care program operated by Catholic Charities. The respite care will provide up to 14 beds for people who have just been discharged from the hospital and have nowhere else to go, the health centers said.
“At the Brookwood Health Center, we are realizing our dream to create a medical home for people who are homeless -- and for everyone in the surrounding community -- that ensures health care is accessible to any person," said Brookwood Medical Director Dr. Michael Kozart. "Our services are specifically designed to reach individuals and families who have struggled to get the care they deserve."