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West County Health Center funded for Homeless Healthcare


West County Health Center funded for Homeless Healthcare

West County Health Centers Awarded Federal Grant for NEW Health Center for Homeless

West County Health Centers is thrilled to announce, during National Health Centers Week, the award of a new health center access point grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through Affordable Care Act Funding.

West County Health Centers was awarded a Bureau of Primary Healthcare grant of $453,459 per year to develop a new access point in the Russian River Area that will provide comprehensive primary care, integrated behavioral health, substance use treatment and other supportive services primarily for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in rural western Sonoma County.

This funding will allow West County Health Centers to expand access to people who are homeless by opening a new clinic in the lower Russian River area where nearly 20% of the homeless people in Sonoma County are located. Services will be geographically, financially, and culturally accessible to people who are homeless. WCHC will provide comprehensive services at a single location with drop-in appointments for primary care, mental health, and drug treatment counseling.

West County Health Centers will have the program up and running at a new site in the Guerneville Area within the next 120 days. One of West County Health Centers’ goals is to increase capacity and improve access to primary medical care, mental health services, dental care, and substance abuse treatment for people who are homeless in the Guerneville area of Sonoma County, where a significant number of homeless people reside, and reduce reliance on emergency room care.  West County Health Centers will also strengthen the coordination of care among homeless service providers in the area through care management, behavioral health, social services linkages, and a shared electronic health record system through this new access point health center for homeless patients. The West County Health Centers new access point specifically for homeless patients will overcome barriers to care and address complex clinical and social needs through focused clinical case management.

West County Health Center staff & board members

West County Health Centers has been providing comprehensive, quality, and accessible health care services to the communities of western Sonoma County for over 40 years, beginning at the Russian River Health Center in 1974 and at the Occidental Area Health Center in 1976.

WCHC expanded into Sebastopol in 2008, opening the Sebastopol Community Health Center as a paperless office while deploying an Electronic Health Record. Most recently WCHC opened its seventh site and second in Sebastopol, the Gravenstein Community Health Center which will eventually expand to serve 4,000 new patients in western Sonoma County.

West County Health Centers (WCHC) continues to be a significant economic driver for all the communities they operate in, employing 195 professional staff, 60 of which are full time employees at WCHC sites in Guerneville.

West County Health Centers is a private, non-profit Federally Qualified Health Center providing medical, dental, and mental health services for 15,000 patients in a 750 square mile service area in western Sonoma County. West County Health Centers envisions healthy communities building relationships and partnerships that support health and wellbeing for all people.

WCHC’s service area is characterized by unique demographic, socio-economic, cultural and health status indicators that significantly impact health care need, access and service delivery.

  • 85% of the WCHC patient population lives below 200% of poverty (41% below 100%).
  • 800 homeless people are estimated to live in the WCHC service area.
  • 20% of WCHC patients are uninsured and 50% are Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
  • HIV infection, heart disease and cancer rates, depression, and substance abuse are particularly significant concerns for the WCHC service area.

West County Health Centers is a health care provider of choice in our local communities and has a long success record of providing access to affordable, high quality, cost effective health care to medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout western Sonoma County.

West County Health Centers continues to serve those in need including elementary age children whose parents cannot otherwise afford the medical care needed to keep them healthy and active in schools; those who are not accepted elsewhere due to HIV/AIDS, homelessness, mental illness or addiction; those in the community who lack the financial resources to pay for quality health care, as well as many others including seniors, working families, and teens. No patient is turned away from West County Health Center for lack of funds.

“It is a great honor to care for our communities and provide a trusted “medical home” for thousands of people in western Sonoma County, including the most vulnerable and under- served.” – Mary Szecsey, Executive Director, West County Health Centers

For more information about West County Health Centers sites and services visit