SANTA ANA: Latino Clinic May Not See Federal Grant
A federal funding program intended to breathe new life into the schools, businesses and cultural life of 11 needy counties through government and private partnerships may not extend to Latino Health Access, a clinic that was originally promised half the $2 million Santa Ana received for the city's health programs, the Orange County Register reports. Labeled an "empowerment zone," Santa Ana has been promised $3.1 million in federal aid, while it, in turn, promised America Bracho, Latino Health Access CEO, that the clinic would be the first health agency to receive funding. However, last week, the city council "decided not to fund the clinic this year or next year" -- an as- yet unconfirmed decision Bracho deems steeped in "back-room, closed door (city council) politics" that unraveled federal guidelines. The funding allocation is supposed to be led by a citizen advisory board, which is intended to depoliticize the process and grant community members input. State Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Santa Ana) has threatened to nix the program if the city fails to appoint a 22-person board by September, while Santa Ana Mayor Pulido has said the board will not be formed until the end of October. Pulido, who plans to visit the clinic this week, denies any back-room politicking and promises the program "will succeed." In contrast, Santa Ana Unified School District trustee John Palacio noted, "This program will fail if it is viewed as a tool or an extension of City Hall, and what City Hall needs to learn is to trust that its citizens can determine their needs" (Garcia, 6/6).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.