It’s National Health Center Week, recognizing community health centers like MCC, who serve anyone in need of healthcare services, whether they have insurance or not.
For more than 50 years, health centers have delivered comprehensive, high-quality healthcare to patients, regardless of their ability to pay. In 1965, the Health Center Program started with just two clinics. Today, there are nearly 1,400 health centers across the country serving over 28 million people.
To the thousands of providers and staff who dedicate their lives to helping patients access quality healthcare, we thank you for making a difference in your communities. You are America’s health care heroes! #NHCW19
Last week, Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) held a Chamber of Commerce mixer where employees and community members celebrated MCC’s being named the 2019 Large Employer of the Year; honored their founder, Paula Cohen; and shared the Congressional Record reading whereby MCC’s community contributions were made a permanent part of history to be housed in the Library of Congress. MCC Executive Director Lucresha Renteria said, “We’re honored to be recognized by the community we serve.”
This year marks MCC’s 25th anniversary. In the early 1990s, Mendocino County closed its outpatient clinics, so in July of 1994, Mendocino Coast Clinics became a private, not-for-profit health center dedicated to serving everyone in the community, regardless of their ability to pay. Renteria said, “People called us a fantasy clinic; they didn’t think we would last. Happily, they were wrong.”
Since then MCC has grown from 7 employees to 115, making them one of the largest employers in Fort Bragg. They have expanded from a single location to four locations, and last year they provided 9,800 patients with 46,000 healthcare appointments.
As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), they advocate for legislation that supports local patients, but they do not have any religious or political affiliation. They are governed locally with at least half of the board members also being patients. Renteria explained, “We are governed by people with a vested interest in maintaining the quality of care for everyone who comes through our doors. Having patients as board members also helps us be responsive to our community’s changing needs.”
For example, in 1997, when local dentists requested that MCC consider operating a dental clinic for Medi-Cal patients, they opened a dental clinic. A few years later, in 2005, they began providing obstetrical and gynecology care, including perinatal services, childbirth classes and breastfeeding support. When the opioid crisis hit, they opened a medically assisted treatment (MAT) program that has helped hundreds of patients better manage their substance use disorders, thereby allowing individuals and families to have a better quality of life. In 2010, when it was clear that teens and young adults needed a safe place to receive free, confidential and nonjudgmental reproductive health care, they opened Blue Door @ MCC. Last year, they opened the Family Wellness Center that offers nutritional consultations, depression screenings, acupuncture, post-partum screenings and more. And this month, they started once-a-week service called Open Door to serve the LGBTQ and sex positive community.
“We define health broadly and offer a wide variety of services that allow us to provide whole-person care, including medical, dental, behavioral health, and some specialty care such as chiropractic care and podiatry,” Renteria said. MCC has been an accredited Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) since 2015, which means they use a team-based approach that includes patients as part of the care team. PCMHs are recognized for build strong relationships between patients and their clinical care teams and typically demonstrate better quality, patient experience, and staff satisfaction as compared to non-PCMHs–all while reducing healthcare costs.
“We’re proud of our accomplishments because it means we’re helping people live healthier lives, from the most privileged to the most vulnerable. We enjoy collaborating with community partners and are incredibly grateful to our donors for their financial support. This is a generous community and we love taking good care of you,” Renteria said. “We look forward to providing excellent health care to meet our community’s needs for at least another 25 years.”
It’s that time of year! If your child needs a back to school, sports, or camp physical, just give our Pediatrics office a call at (707) 964-5696.
Appointments are available daily with one of our three pediatricians – the only pediatricians on the Mendocino Coast. And until August 2, make an appointment and receive a free swim pass or Cowlick’s gift card for your child! You will also be entered into a weekly drawing for an even bigger prize.
Come on in and see us at 510 Cypress Street Suite D for the #bestcareanywhere for your child!
The highlight of the evening was the presentation by Sheba Brown, Congressman Jared Huffman‘s field representative, of the Proclamation recognizing MCC’s 25 years of service to our community. The Proclamation was read out in the House of Representatives and will become part of the Congressional Record. Forever. We are officially part of history! #bestcareanywhere#25yearsstrong
In recognition of her years of exemplary work, leadership and caring for our community, Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) Executive Director Lucresha Renteria will be honored as a 2019 Rural Health Rock Star by the Family Medicine Education for Mendocino County at their annual fundraiser on June 15.
Having started as an MCC interpreter in 1992 before the organization became an independent non-profit health center in 1994, Renteria’s responsibilities grew as the clinic grew. She became the director of administrative services in 2004 and executive director on January 1, 2016.
Renteria has long been a community advocate for bilingual/bi-cultural services, as well as for the community’s children and families. In 2004, she was appointed to the First 5 Mendocino Commission, where she served as chairperson for six years. In 2007, she was presented with the Making a Difference for Women award from the local chapter of the Soroptimist International Club. Renteria was a member of the inaugural class of Clinic Leadership Institute – Emerging Leaders, graduating from the program in 2009.
Renteria currently serves as the chair for the Community Health Resource Network, as well as the 2019 chairperson for the Special Populations and Rural Committee of the California Primary Care Association. She is also a board member for the Mendocino Coast Children’s Fund and the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee.
“I am honored to have been chosen as FMEMC’s advocate/leader rock star this year. We live in a wonderful rural community and it is up to all of us to take care of one another,” Renteria said.
FMEMC presents five awards each year to standout individuals in the following categories: advocate/leader, physician, midlevel provider, allied health provider, and complementary medicine provider. The FMEMC fundraiser where the awardees will be announced, “Music is Medicine,” includes a farm-to-table dinner catered by Black Dog Farm and a lively concert under the musical direction of well-known local musician Alex DeGrassi. It will be held at Mendocino College’s Center Theatre in partnership with Fowler Subaru on June 15. Tickets are available online at musicismedicine.brownpapertickets.com.
FMEMC is a community-based, non-profit organization that serves as an independent advisory board to the family medicine residency program starting at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley this fall. FMEMC also improves local health care through its support of the street medicine program and local nursing. For more information about FMEMC, visit www.fmemc.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fmemc. To learn more about Rural Health Rocks, visit www.ruralhealthrocks.com.
Did you know? Mendocino Coast Clinics has a weekly support group for existing MCC patients who are experiencing chronic pain. It’s every Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:00 pm in the conference room at 205 South Street.
No reservations are needed, and there is no cost to attend.
The group is led by our Chronic Pain Manager and dedicated therapists. Come, learn, and connect. Snacks are provided.
We’re seeing stars at MCC – Rural Health Rock Stars, that is!
We are proud to announce that our amazing Executive Director, Lucresha Renteria, won the 2019 Healthcare Advocate Leader Rural Health Rock Star award for her exemplary leadership and service to our community:
MCC was well represented in the nominations for these county-wide awards. In addition to our winner, Lucresha, these staff were nominated as well:
Albert Anderson, Patient Advocate
Jenna Breton, FNP
Lawrence Goldyn, MD, Medical Director
Linnea Matthews, NP
Bill Simon, RN
James Thomas, PA
Kei Velazquez, NP
Brent Wright, MD
Congratulations to all the nominees, our winner Lucresha, and to all who work so hard to bring quality healthcare to rural communities like ours. You are all rural health rock stars!
Copyright by Mendocino Coast Clinics. All rights reserved. This Health Center receives HHS funding and has Federal PHS deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals. This Health Center is a Health Center Program grantee under 42 U.S.C. 245b, and deemed a Public Health Service employee under 42 U.S.C. 233 (g)-(n). Any claim filed against MCC must be done in federal court.