Sun Valley Community Health Center may sit on a middle school campus, but it provides healthcare services for an entire community. The center, which officially opened in 2008, is a unique partnership between the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Unified School District and the Northeast Valley Health Corporation, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).
The 10,000-square-foot center has 13 exam rooms, a dispensary, lab, four counseling offices and education and training rooms and is one of the largest and most comprehensive school-based clinics in the United States. Walking groups are offered for local residents.
Clients, including middle school students, receive help with chronic disease management, dental care, preventative care, mental health and WIC program services. The clinic also serves as a training center for UCLA medical students and family medicine residents. Undergraduates are also welcome to volunteer.
The seeds of the center were planted in 2000, when eight UCLA medical students surveyed 300 households in the area for more than a year and found the area lacking in adequate healthcare services. Asthma was found to be the most serious health problem in the community, and the research led to Sun Valley being designated a Health Professional Shortage Area for primary care. An asthma screening and early intervention program was the first to be established on the middle-school campus.
For more information go to www.nevhc.org