Santa Rosa Community Health reopens Fountaingrove clinic lost in 2017 Tubbs Fire
‘From the ashes, we will rise.” If you live, work or travel through Santa Rosa, you’ve likely seen that phrase, one that remains closely held within the city most traumatized by the October 2017 Northern California wildfires.
Now, the latest sign of renewal is about to reveal itself.
On Monday, Aug. 19, Santa Rosa Community Health Centers will welcome patients to its newly rebuilt Vista campus, located on the original site at 3569 Round Barn Circle. Vista was the only health care operation in Santa Rosa completely obliterated in the Tubbs Fire.
An official grand opening is set for 5 p.m. on Oct. 8, exactly two years since the fires.
“We’ve called this journey ‘Vista Rising,’” said CEO Naomi Fuchs. “It’s a bittersweet and symbolic time.”
The Vista campus cost $19 million to rebuild, Fuchs said. About $16 million was covered by insurance; the remaining $3 million is being raised through a capital campaign that so far has brought in about $1 million, Fuchs said, adding that anyone interested in contributing can learn more at srhealth.org/donate.
The new facility will remain at 42,000 square feet, but reconfigurations have been made within the walls for improved efficiencies, including two additional exam rooms, bringing the total to 58.
“We created a lot more meeting rooms and staff lounges … and wanted to make it easier for patients to navigate through the building,” said Gaby Bernal Leroi, SRCH chief operating officer. She also has been site director of the Vista campus since it first opened in 2010, and was one of the leads on the building’s redesign.
The pharmacy is now on the first floor, and there are more blood-draw stations and reception windows, as well as additional rooms for patients to participate in group support services, Bernal Leroi said.
Vista’s rebuilding crew included Wright Contracting and Hugh Futrell Corp., both headquartered in Santa Rosa. Architectural firm Lionakis designed the original Vista campus and returned for the rebuild.
PATIENTS: BY THE NUMBERS
In 2016, SRCH treated 44,000 individual patients. But within six months after the fires, that number fell by 4,000, Fuchs said, adding there is no hard data to track the circumstances for each case.
Over the last 18 months, SRCH has regained about 1,500 patients of the 4,000 lost, even without the Vista campus in the mix, she said.
Part of the increase in patient numbers is attributable to the organization's caring for some of the 350 people returning to its service area following last year’s closure of the state-run Sonoma Developmental Center, which housed people with developmental disabilities.
SRCH has also seen an increase among the uninsured population, climbing in the past two years from a rate of 16% to 22%. This has resulted in more patients accessing the sliding scale to pay for care, Fuchs said.
Ultimately — and now that Vista is reopening — SRCH will have the capacity to care for 50,000 individual patients every year, Fuchs said.
THE BOTTOM LINE
SRCH has an annual budget of $66 million. But the relevant information is around revenue, Fuchs said.
“Since the fire, we delivered 14,000 fewer patient visits, which translates to a $2.5 million loss in patient visit revenue,” she said. The 14,000 number refers to how many times a patient visited, not the number of individual patients served per year.