The Health Improvement Partnership (HIP) and Safety Net Clinic Coalition of Santa Cruz County (SNCC) held a health center bus tour to celebrate National Health Center Week 2018. The event was part of a national campaign during the week of August 12 – 18 to raise awareness about the mission and accomplishments of Santa Cruz County’s Health Centers and the dedicated staff who bring healthcare to the medically underserved in our local communities.
In honor of National Health Center Week, HIP hosted a countywide bus tour of all health centers on Thursday, August 16, from 8:00 to 11:30 am. The health center bus tour brought healthcare leaders, Santa Cruz County representatives, health center donors, and other related figures to visit five health centers. The visitors learned about the comprehensive healthcare services provided at each health center.
To commence the event, County Supervisor-Zach Friend presented a proclamation declaring National Health Center week on behalf of the County. Each health center celebrated a Health Center Superhero — one staff from their organization who epitomizes their mission – to provide high-quality healthcare to all.
While visiting each health center, tour attendees learned of various existing services, patient demographics, and upcoming new and innovative programs.
The bus tour began at East Cliff Family Health Center in Santa Cruz after an introduction by Elisa Orona, Executive Director of HIP. Next, the tour passed by the planned Dientes Community Dental site with a presentation from Chief Executive Officer, Laura Marcus.
The bus route continued down the coast to the Watsonville Health and Dental Center where Amy Peeler, Chief of Clinic Services of Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, hosted the site tour. Next, the bus passed by Planned Parenthood Mar Monte with a presentation given by Eva Montes-Portis, Area Services Director.
The final stop was at Salud Para La Gente where tour guests were led through the clinic and provided with relevant information about its services and recent expansion. The event concluded with a networking luncheon back at the East Cliff site in Santa Cruz.
This celebration recognized the incredible work of community health centers and their dedicated staff members who work closely with the community every day to deliver quality care. Dr. Amy McEntee, Chief Medical Officer of Salud Para La Gente, spoke about the incredible work of these staff members, “Our clinic staff from facilities team, receptionists to our care providers, make it possible for our health centers to expand comprehensive care that is responsive to those most vulnerable in the community.”
Santa Cruz County joined thousands of communities across the nation to recognize and celebrate the innovative work of Safety Net Health Centers. To learn more about NHCW and the listing of events, please visit www.healthcenterweek.org.
Health Improvement Partnership is a nonprofit coalition of public and private healthcare leaders dedicated to increasing access to health care and building stronger local healthcare systems. Launched in 2004, HIP’s member organizations represent Santa Cruz County’s major health care providers and other key community stakeholders.