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UPDATE : Russian River Health Center FIRE Recovery


UPDATE : Russian River Health Center FIRE Recovery

West County Health Centers (WCHC) is proud to report that in less than 48 hours after the fire on December 26th 2015, we were seeing patients and continuing to provide medical, dental and mental health care services to Russian River Health Center (RRHC) patients despite the total loss of the health center building in Guerneville.

The Russian River Health Center (RRHC) will be rebuilt as quickly as possible. In the meantime, St. Joseph’s Health System has generously loaned their mobile medical unit to WCHC. This fully-equipped unit is parked in the Russian River Dental Clinic parking lot and is being used primarily for urgent care appointments. Most RRHC patients are able to see their usual medical and behavioral health providers at Gravenstein Community Health Center in Sebastopol.

WCHC is incredibly grateful to the St. Joseph’s Health Team for loaning us their mobile medical unit and getting it set up so quickly. Eleven patients were seen by their regular RRHC medical provider and care team for scheduled appointments on Monday and seventeen patients on Tuesday, less than 48 hours after the fire. In addition, Russian River Health Center care teams and were able to see thirteen RRHC patients on Monday at the Gravenstein Community Health Center in Sebastopol. Patients may continue to schedule appointments as usual through the RRHC phone number (707) 869-2849. All RRHC patients are encouraged to keep their regular appointments.

West County health staff oepn for serving the communityWest County Health Centers (WCHC) has organized a shuttle service to help RRHC patients without transportation get to their appointments at the Gravenstein Community Health Center in Sebastopol. We are grateful to West County Community Services (formerly CFSA) for partnering to provide vans and drivers to help with transportation which is scheduled to continue on Monday at 8 am. Patients in need of help with transportation to their scheduled appointments at GCHC or other medically-related needs in Sebastopol such as diagnostic testing, lab tests, specialty services and radiology should call (707)869-2849 to request transportation support for their appointments.

The Gravenstein Community Health Center is located at 652 Petaluma Ave., Suite H, Sebastopol, CA 95472.

Of the 15,000 West County Health Centers patients in western Sonoma County, 3,500 patients receive medical and mental health services at Russian River Health Center. Prior to the fire, the Russian River Health Center averaged 50 patient appointments per day in Guerneville. The Monday following the fire a total of 24 patients were seen by RRHC Medical Providers between GCHC in Sebastopol and the St. Joseph’s mobile medical unit at the RR Dental Clinic in Guerneville.
West County Health Centers attributes their incredible resiliency in the face of the devastating fire to the tremendous commitment to our patients of the RRHC staff, medical providers, care teams, and all WCHC staff.

West County Health Centers is extremely grateful to our health care partners, vendors, community partners and supporters for the amazing outpouring of support for our organization, our staff, and our patients. WCHC thanks our Russian River Fire Department, Cal Fire, the seven fire companies and all emergency personnel who responded to the RRHC fire. We continue to be overwhelmingly thankful every day that there was no loss of life or injuries from this terrible fire.

The offers of help, donations and support from our elected officials, donors, patients, supporters and our community have been incredible, keeping our spirits high as we recover from this crisis and begin planning to create something even better for our patients from the ashes of our old home.
"The strength of our Health Center is in the people... our staff, our care teams, our patients and our community. We will rebuild our Russian River Health Center building and we look forward to the opportunity to create something even better for our patients."- Mary Szecsey, Executive Director, West County Health Centers

West County Health Centers is accepting donations from people who want to help the Russian River Health Center recover from this fire and rebuild. Please visit to donate online or checks may be mailed to:

Russian River Health Center, ℅ West County Health Centers, PO BOX 1449, Guerneville, CA 95446

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.

Please see the following Q&A which is being provided to patients and is available on our website

Russian River Health sfter the fire

Russian River Health Center Fire - Frequently Asked Questions

What caused the fire?
This is definitely the most frequently asked question! The answer is that we really don't know and we may never be certain. The fire was reported in the early morning hours after Christmas Day and it appears that it probably started somewhere in the front of the building. Fire and insurance investigators are trying to determine the cause but so far they have not made any final determination.

Will we rebuild?
YES, absolutely. Russian River Health Center has been a vital source of medical care in this community for more than 40 years and we will rebuild as quickly as possible.

How will the fire affect my medical care?
We will continue to take care of your medical needs. The Russian River Health Center Team still has access to all of your medical records. You will still be able to see your usual provider but it will be in a different location.

Refills - If you need help with a refill, please follow the usual protocol and call your pharmacy. They will still be able to send us your refill request through our electronic system and our medical providers will respond. Refills that require a paper prescription will be available to pick up at the Dental Office.

Labs - We will be able to manage new lab orders through our electronic health record and can send the orders to any lab in Sebastopol or Santa Rosa.
We will be working with Quest to set up a draw station in Guerneville soon.

Appointments - We will be contacting all of our scheduled patients to let them know where to go for their next appointment. If you need to make an appointment, call the usual phone number (707) 869-2849, and we will schedule the appointment and let you know the location. For the time being, most appointments will be scheduled at our Gravenstein Community Health Center in Sebastopol at 652 Petaluma Avenue, Suite H.

Other Inquiries - We will be managing all medical records requests, referrals and other inquiries in the usual manner. Please call if you have any questions. Our staff will be working from another location but they will be able to see your records.