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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Friday, August 12, 2011

Capps Announces Funding for Community Health Centers to Open New Clinic in Cuyama Valley

Today Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA-23) announced that Community Health Centers of the Central Coast (CHC) has been awarded a $551,667 federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to establish a new health care clinic in the Cuyama Valley that will provide first time access to primary health care for many residents of agricultural communities in the Valley.


The funding was made available as a part of the Affordable Care Act.

“I am so pleased to announce this funding for Community Health Centers. A new health care clinic in the Cuyama Valley will provide access to primary health care for so many who—until now—have gone without. The health care law sets out to make this country healthier over the long run, no matter where you live. One of the ways we will achieve that goal is by expanding access to basic primary care, so that little problems don’t become big problems. This new clinic will do just that,” said Capps.

“I said a prayer of thanks when I heard that CHC had been awarded a grant that will allow us to establish a health care clinic in the Cuyama Valley. This grant will allow us to create a satellite clinic in the isolated community of New Cuyama. Right now the closest medical care is more than an hour’s drive, and many simply go without [medical] care. This rural clinic will provide a high caliber of care — a medical and dental home that’s local, affordable, and convenient. Our mission has always been to expand access to quality healthcare on the Central Coast. We are so grateful to Congresswoman Capps, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Obama administration for supporting community health centers — for supporting our patients, and helping us to reach out to the communities who need us most,” said Ron Castle, CEO of Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, Inc.

“We are making an investment in the health of people and the health of our communities,” said Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “These awards demonstrate a commitment to improving and expanding access to quality health care for local communities. We are removing barriers that stand in the way of affordable and accessible primary health services.”

The New Access Point Satellite clinic will provide services for residents of Cuyama Valley. Currently, this area has no regular medical providers or medical services, and the closest medical care is more than an hour’s drive away. Approximately 85% of the clinic’s target population consists of farm workers who are uninsured and low income. Public transportation is costly and inconsistent and access to local resources is difficult. The clinic will serve people from four counties within a twenty mile radius: Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Kern and Ventura. At full capacity, staffing will include a family physician; a family nurse practitioner; a licensed clinical social worker/substance abuse counselor, a health educator, and a community outreach worker. In addition, there will be access to a mobile dental team and referrals for specialty services.

CHC will partner with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and other health and human services in Cuyama Valley, including the Cuyama School District, Fire Department, and Police Department. It will be leasing an existing medical facility and expect to have a clinic up and running within sixty days.

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