SAN MATEO COUNTY: Three Providers Vying to Open New Clinic
Three health care providers are competing for a $900,000 federal grant to provide health care to poor, uninsured residents in southern San Mateo County. For 30 years, the grant was reserved for the Drew Health Foundation, which lost it after a 1997 audit by the federal Department of Health and Human Services showed "wide-scale financial mismanagement." Drew officials did not reapply for the grant, which is slated to be awarded July 1. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that driving "the applications is the undisputed need for health care in southern San Mateo County, which contains some of the county's poorest and uninsured residents and a high incidence of HIV infection and AIDS, heart disease, cervical cancer and diabetes." The three organizations applying for the grant are:
- The Gardner Family Health Network, which runs five clinics in San Jose, serving 50,000 patients per year on a budget of $24 million. While the system is affiliated with several hospitals in San Jose, CEO Reymundo Espinosa said it would have to fashion new alliances with hospitals near East Palo Alto, namely Stanford and Packard hospitals. "We saw the need. The demographics have changed out there, and that was definitely of interest to us. The disadvantage is people might perceive us as ... 'carpetbaggers.' I'm hoping people are open to allowing someone else to come in. We want to provide the care," he said.
- The Mayview Community Clinic administers two nonprofit clinics in Palo Alto and Mountain View. On a $1.7 million budget, it serves 4,000 clients a year. It has relationships with three area hospitals. Executive Director JoAnn Cabrera said, "It has been very difficult because of the artificial geographical boundaries. We think that's something we could do in East Palo Alto, if we had the resources to work there."
- San Mateo County has proposed an alliance with Stanford and Packard hospitals, according to Margaret Taylor, county health director. Since Drew's demise, the county already serves many of Palo Alto's poor (Zinko, 4/1).