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AltaMed Opens First-of-its-Kind Health Care Center in the Nation
Date:8/22/2008

32,000 Sq. Ft. Facility Helps Tackle Health Care Crisis by Providing Sorely Needed Medical, Dental and Senior Services to Critically Underserved Area

of Los Angeles County

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- AltaMed Health Services along with community and political leaders, celebrated today the grand opening of the Family Health and Wellness Center located in the heart of El Monte. With a population in critical need of health care services, the Family Health and Wellness Center represents a new model for how medical services will be provided to underserved communities in the future.

The center co-locates quality senior programs with conventional clinic services such as prenatal, internal medicine, dental health, pediatrics and even HIV specialty care. The first-of-its-kind in the nation to be operated by an independent community-based non-profit, the center will allow seniors who come in for clinical care to access an array of supportive services (such as social work services, counseling and meals) and will allow seniors enrolled in support programs to have direct access to primary medical care.

The center's comprehensive and specialized services for the whole family, from birth to the golden years, will be a significant addition to a community with a patient-to-doctor ratio of 10,000 to 1. This is startling when one considers that communities in Los Angeles' Westside have a patient-to-doctor ratio of 250 to 1 and that the country of Iraq has a ratio of 1,500 to 1.

"AltaMed's Family Health and Wellness Center in El Monte is the culmination of years of work to develop a model of service that meets the health needs of every family member at every age," said Castulo de la Rocha, President and CEO of AltaMed Health Services Corporation. "This unique model will serve as a vehicle to address the health crisis in this medically underserved area and can be duplicated in communities across the nation."

El Monte is one of the poorest and most underserved areas in Los Angeles County. A total of 41% of the population lives at less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. AltaMed built the new Family Health and Wellness Center from the ground up and expanded its services to address the tremendous need for medical care in El Monte and surrounding communities. The center can eventually accommodate up to 58,000 patient visits a year.

"The opening of the AltaMed Family Health and Wellness Center serves as a powerful example of what dedicated advocates can do to minimize the effects of our health care crisis on our most vulnerable populations. For more than 39 years, AltaMed has served as a passionate champion on this issue," said Congresswoman Hilda Solis, 32nd District. "I am proud to stand here with them today to celebrate what will be a treasured resource in our community."

The state-of-the-art center, financed with a combination of government resources, private foundations and individual donors, features a full service clinic, completely digital dental technology, electronic medical records, a new x-ray room, general surgery services (outpatient and non-invasive procedures) and smart chip equipment for physical therapy. To ensure patients are seen in an efficient and effective manner, a lighting system will monitor visits from the moment they enter the treatment rooms to the moment they leave. The system allows AltaMed professionals to know the exact stage of a patient's visit and eliminates the need to rely on public address systems or walkie-talkies.

The senior services offered at the El Monte Family Health and Wellness Center are administered at the adjoining AltaMed Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) Center. The ADHC is designed to offer adults 18 years and older a wide array of programs and services that include transportation to and from the ADHC, nursing care, individual counseling, physical, occupational and speech therapy, recreational activities, emotional support for caregivers, health education classes and other community resources. The ADHC is focused on promoting independence for its participants; a factor important to the well being of the adult and his/her family caregivers.

"I am very grateful for AltaMed's ADHC at the Family Health and Wellness Center because it allows me to look forward to something during the day and provides me and my family with the medical and emotional support we need," said Martha Gutierrez, ADHC participant.

"Being at AltaMed is like being with your second family; they truly make sure you receive the care you need." AltaMed has recently opened ADHC facilities in Pico Rivera and Downey to address the growing need for culturally relevant senior services in the Latino and other ethnic communities.

The new AltaMed Family Health and Wellness Center is located at 10418 Valley Blvd., El Monte, CA 91731. The medical and dental clinic services are available from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday and Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday; and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The Adult Day Health Care center operates from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday thru Friday.

The services offered at AltaMed's ADHC facilities are available free of cost to individuals enrolled in Medi-Cal or private pay for non-Medi-Cal beneficiaries. For more information on AltaMed Services please call (877) 462-2582.

ABOUT ALTAMED HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATION

AltaMed Health Services, a private nonprofit organization, is a major provider of health and human services in the Greater Los Angeles area and the largest Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in the State of California. AltaMed's mission is to provide high quality, coordinated, comprehensive health and human services to the underserved in Southern California, with particular attention to Latino and multi-ethnic populations. AltaMed began as the East Los Angeles Barrio Free Clinic in 1969, a volunteer-staff storefront providing basic medical services. Today AltaMed's service area extends beyond East Los Angeles, to the Greater Los Angeles area and Orange County.


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SOURCE AltaMed Health Services
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