ORANGE COUNTY: CHOC Opens Clinic at Boys and Girls Club
Following the death of an 8-year-old member of the Santa Ana Boys and Girls Club who lacked health insurance, Children's Hospital of Orange County will open a pediatric clinic at the club, the Los Angeles Times reports. The clinic, located in the city's "Empowerment Zone" -- a federally designated area of need -- will offer immunizations, medical exams and, when possible, "medication on the spot." Clinic operators expect to provide care for nearly 8,000 children annually. John Brewster, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club, said, "Some of [the member] kids will be going next door to get an exam for the very first time." With grants from the Pacific Care Foundation, the Health Care Foundation of Orange County and CHOC, the $500,000 project took 18 months to complete. Operating the clinic will cost an estimated $450,000 annually, which will be covered by the hospital and through grants. Staffed by a doctor, nurse, medical assistant and receptionist, the clinic will also have an outreach counselor who will work with families to enroll them in Medi-Cal or other health programs. Dr. Mark Colon, the clinic's lead pediatrician, said, "We're right there in the community and within walking distance for [uninsured] families." CHOC spokesperson Kathy Kolodje said, "We're very excited about this, and we're hoping to make this the first of other clinics at other Boys & Girls Clubs. We're hoping this will be a pilot project. We may not be able to take it nationally, but other hospitals can." The clinic will hold an opening reception today and begin providing care Oct. 27 (Borgatta, Los Angeles Times, 10/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.