Dedication of Community Health Centers' new Nipomo clinic set for Friday

clambert@thetribunenews.comFebruary 28, 2013 

Community Health Centers of the Central Coast will hold a grand opening Friday for a new 28,000-square-foot facility in Nipomo, which will offer internal medicine specialists, a full-time pediatrics team, vision and optometry services and dental care.

At the same time, the nonprofit is introducing a new approach toward its patient care by putting more services in one location, CEO Ron Castle said Thursday.

The idea is to create “service hubs” with comprehensive services under one roof, Castle said.

“We anticipate with health care reform coming soon that we’re going to have to be open extended hours,” he added.

Community Health Centers expects to receive 30,000 to 40,000 new patients at its clinics in San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties after Jan. 1, 2014, when the federal Affordable Care Act requires most individuals to buy health insurance or pay a penalty.

Castle expects that CHC will see more patients who have expanded medical benefits under Medi-Cal.

A dedication ceremony for the $9 million project will be held at 3 p.m. Friday. Community Health Centers will also host an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

About $7.5 million of the cost was covered through the federal stimulus package; the nonprofit covered the remaining $1.5 million, in part by using some reserves.

The clinic will open the week of March 11 and offer extended hours and expanded health services to local residents. It is located at 150 Tejas Place in Nipomo.

The current facility at that location will be used for administrative offices; the medical and dental care currently offered there will be moved to the new building.

Some staff from an Arroyo Grande clinic on Halcyon Road will relocate to the new building. The Halcyon Road medical center is closing, and its services, including women’s health services, are being relocated to the new Nipomo building or the San Luis Obispo clinic on Bishop Street.

In addition, a clinic offering counseling and other services to homeless people in Grover Beach closed about three weeks ago and will reopen by April 1 nearby. It will then offer counseling and support services to low-income people in the Five Cities area, not just the homeless, Castle said.

Community Health Centers of the Central Coast has operated since 1978 and now has a network of 26 clinics with a focus on serving low-income, uninsured community members. For more information, go to www.communityhealthcenters.org.

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