I’m pleased to introduce you to our first “guest blogger,” Monique Sims – the manager of La Clínica de La Raza’s brand new community clinic in North Vallejo. The site is part of a groundbreaking community project to relieve hospital ER overcrowding by guiding patients to more appropriate clinic settings. A couple weeks ago, the Consortium interviewed Monique for our newsletter. Here, we asked her to introduce the rest of her staff and tell us how things have been going so far. Thanks for reading! - Soren
How exciting! A brand new clinic to meet a serious need in
the community for patient access to health care. I was excited to come aboard
the La Clínica team at the onset of this important endeavor. The clinic was
birthed as a response to a need to redirect avoidable emergency room visits
I was able to see the clinic develop from empty walls, to beautiful furniture and the warmest, professional team I have ever had the pleasure to work with. The buzz was in the air… “La Clínica’s New Urgent Care Clinic was Coming Soon!” I was whisked into meetings with project partners including Terry Glubka of Sutter Hospital, Patrick Duterte of Solano County Health and Social Services, and Cynthia Verrett from Kaiser. I was in awe that so many people and organizations came together to support what came to be known as the “Patient Access Project.”
It wasn’t long before I became very motivated, as site manager, to give my best into striving to accomplish the goals and expectancies for the clinic. I was soon joined by three providers that shared the same passion for the mission of the clinic.
- Dr Mark Schwartz joined the team with 25 plus years under his belt as a Kaiser ER doctor.
- Shortly later, Dr. Ruth Shelton-Pyror dedicated her vast, 30- year experience in primary care to the clinic.
- “Nurse Betty” Labastida came aboard with 35 years experience as a nurse practitioner and several years at “Clinic Ole” to complete the provider team.
I felt an angel was watching over this project, but did not anticipate the arrival of “The Clinic’s Angels,” Nichelle, Angela and Norma. Medical Assistants Nichelle and Angela worked diligently to bring the clinic’s supplies and procedures up to a high standard of excellence.
Hard-working Norma worked feverishly to acquire and organize our registration materials and office. They whipped the clinic into shape. Later, Medical Assistant Akia joined us complementing the team’s expertise with her extensive phlebotomy experience.
Our Health Educator, Ashley, is working feverishly to educate the community about the services provided by the clinic and spreading the news that if you have an urgent medical need that is really not life threatening, and you cannot get an appointment with your doctor, our clinic is here to serve your health needs.
The first day we opened, we were all so excited! Norma told us, “This is what we’ve been working and waiting for!” With that we were off to a great start. The clinic started out with just 5 people a night showing up for our 3- hour evening clinics, and now we’re up to 13 per night. None of the staff complain about working Saturdays! They want to be there to serve our clients. I am enjoying the ride, working with such a great team.
We’re on our way!!! Check out the clinic at our Open House on February 5th, 2009.
Monique Sims, DrPH, MPH, RD