Nonprofit opens new Fresno health centers

Two new health centers complete Clinica Sierra Vista's Elm Community Health Center campus in southwest Fresno.Two new health centers complete Clinica Sierra Vista's Elm Community Health Center campus in southwest Fresno.Fresno's newest health centers opened today to join Clinica Sierra Vista's 30-plus centers throughout the San Joaquin Valley.

The Elm Community Health Center, located at 2740 S. Elm Ave., will provide primary care services, including family practice and internal medicine.

The Elm Women's and Pediatric Community Health Center, located at 2760 S. Elm Ave., provides obstetrics/genecology/ well women and pediatric/children services.

The nonprofit held a grand opening at noon for the two buildings that complete the Elm Community Health Center campus in southwest Fresno.

Clinica Sierra Vista's CEO Steve Schilling opened up the event, followed by praise and congratulations from Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin, Fresno City Council Members Oliver Baines and Sal Quintero, State Assemblymember Henry T. Perea and Rep. Jim Costa.

Besides the two new centers, the campus also has a dental center, which opened up in 2010, along with several ancillary program services like an enrollment center for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, a Maternal Child Outreach Program (MCOP) and Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP) and Patient Navigator.

Campus facilities will be open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and will staff an average of 14 full-time medical providers and 38 full-time medical and support staff, including enabling staff for the WIC program, CPSP, disease case management, and insurance enrollment.

Students from the UC San Francisco School of Medicine in Fresno will also be brought in to learn at the Elm Community Health Center's family practice wing.

The two new centers, built by contractor Quiring General of Fresno, total 29,000 square feet.

According to Schilling, the campus, including the centers, parking lot, lights, power poles and road work, represents an investment of nearly $10 million thanks to financing from Citibank. It is the largest the nonprofit has made so far in the Valley.

He said the campus will also be the first of Clinica Sierra Vista's locations to fully rely on electronic health records before implementing the system at Kern County clinics in the year ahead.

The Elm Community Health Center can be reached at (559) 457-5200 while the Elm Women's & Pediatric Community Health Center can be reached at (559) 457-5314.

Clinica Sierra Vista was founded in Bakersfield in 1971 to provide health care to poor, migrant farmworkers living in Kern County. The nonprofit began expanding into the Fresno area in 2008.

Now, Clinica Sierra Vista operates 26 community health centers, six dental centers and six behavioral health centers throughout the San Joaquin Valley region.

Clinica Sierra Vista served 152,397 patients through 562,681 patient visits in 2012. It is the second largest federally qualified health center in the nation.

More information about the centers or Clinica Sierra Vista can be found on its website at www.clinicasierravista.org.