Community Health Requires Healthcare for All
Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics is the south county’s firewall against communal public health threats.
Every year, its eight clinics in Isla Vista, Goleta, and Santa Barbara serve more than 22,000 people, 91% of whom are low- income and often lack adequate resources to pay for care. The clinics’ physicians, physician assistants, dentists, and nurse practitioners provide a wide range of primary care from substance use treatment to managing chronic illness and behavioral health.
“This is the best job I have ever had,” says CEO and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Charles Fenzi. “The folks we are taking care of are so grateful that we are here. And I get to rub elbows with such passionate and dedicated people.”
Fenzi, a family medicine doctor, spends one day a week seeing patients in an effort to keep up with his highly qualified medical staff.
All services are provided on a sliding scale, so that everyone who comes through the doors is provided “high quality, comprehensive, affordable healthcare… regardless of their ability to pay, in an environment that fosters respect, compassion, and dignity.”
Without the neighborhood clinics – many of these patients wouldn’t have many other options for care other than the emergency room.
“The ER is very expensive,” Fenzi says. “You have no continuity, and it’s not a place where you can provide care for people with chronic health conditions.”
Inasmuch, the role Neighborhood Clinics plays in helping the patients it does extends to the whole community. “If you can’t provide access to everyone in the community, you simply won’t have a healthy community.”
For the first six months of 2021, Fenzi is focused on “a triple target to keep essential workers healthy”: managing chronic health conditions, ensuring children are vaccinated, and when a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, administering it to the thousands of patients he and his colleagues see.
As the on-the-ground provider for so many uninsured, undocumented essential workers, Fenzi and the clinics will have to show people that it is safe to take a new vaccine and will be a lead agency administering the vaccinations themselves.
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Director of Development & Community Awareness: Maria W. Long
Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics provides high quality, comprehensive, affordable healthcare to all people, regardless of their ability to pay, in an environment that fosters respect, compassion and dignity.
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I have proudly supported SBNC for over 25 years, because of their total dedication to our community. The recent pandemic has proven what I have always believed: If we don’t take care of those that work in the community, we are ALL at risk in multiple ways. Too many people are fearful to seek the help of a doctor because of the high cost of treatment or medications. I ask myself, what happens if you aren’t able to fix a tooth? Well, you simply stop smiling! I am grateful for the services of the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics by providing skill and compassion in treating the health, dental, and emotional needs of our fellow human beings.
A New Westside Clinic
Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics completed a $20 million campaign this past year.
Half of the funds raised will be spread out over five years to cover the outstanding $2 million per year they need to fulfill their operating budgets after the funds they receive being a Federally Qualified Health Center. The other half will be split up with $3.25 million going towards facility upgrades and maintenance and $6.75 million being used to establish a new clinic on the Westside. This facility will expand medical exam rooms by 50% to nine rooms, provide new dental services in six operatories, and have an integrated space for a behavioral health specialist and psychiatrist.
“We raised our $20 million, but during this pandemic we found that the building we designed was inadequate for the next pandemic,” says SBNC Ceo/Cmo Dr. Charles Fenzi. Accordingly, the SBNC team had the plans redrawn. “That raised the cost so now we are going back to raise those additional funds and we’re about halfway there.”
Brittingham Family Foundation
Lewis-Towbes Family Foundation
G.A. Fowler Family Foundation
James S. Bower Foundation
St. Francis Foundation
The Cecilia Fund
Montecito Bank & Trust
Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree
David & Anna Grotenhuis
Jack Mithun & Mercedes Millington
Peter & Gerd Jordano
Zegar Family Foundation