BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Clinica Sierra Vista is opening a new comprehensive care center on 34th street, by the end of the year. It’s a multi-specialty project that aims to improve patient's access to care.
The center will be the largest community health center in the central valley once it opens. The focus is on the patient experience and creating a space where people can have all their needs met under one roof and get quality care for communities nearby that don’t usually have access to convenient healthcare that they can easily get to.
“It’s really a culmination of what patients have been asking for, for years. What our staff and providers have been asking for, for many years. It’s really the health center of the future-focused around the patient a holistic approach to care,” said Tim Calahan, Director of Communications for Clinica Sierra Vista.
The care center was supposed to open in the Fall around October. However, with construction work staff shortages and delays, the center is expected to be operational by December.
Clinica Sierra Vista says that when the 55-thousand square-foot facility opens by December, it will be the largest community health center in the central valley.
“Two floors, 100 plus exam rooms, multi-specialty from OB care, family medicine, behavioral health, dental support services like WIC, Cal Fresh. So, this really is a like I said, the health center of the future, patient-focused, a one-stop-shop as you will, right in the heart of downtown Bakersfield,” said Calahan.
Tim Calahan with Clinica Sierra Vista said conceptualizing this project began almost three years ago where the board members and patients came together and wanted to create the kind of care center the community needed.
“The goal of community health centers is to serve the underserved, so we certainly reach that population now. We provide care at Clinica Sierra Vista regardless of a patient’s ability to pay,” said Calahan.
Calahan said one of the main barriers to health care access that the center is trying to combat is the transportation and Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh echoed that.
“The convenience of having multiple services under one roof will certainly provide greater access to our residents. They’re already challenged with transportation issues, so having everything under one roof I believe will encourage health care access,” said Goh.
Goh toured the facility recently and said the center will have a big impact on people in the community.
“The magnitude of the offerings under one roof of Clinica Sierra Vista’s new facility will be a first-timer for our community. Although we’ve had facilities that are one-stop, we’ve never had this many services offered under one roof,” said Goh.
Calahan called the project, health center of the future, and says that the facility fills a need for more people seeking medical services.
“But, there really isn’t something like this scale and with the partnerships that we’ve been able to establish at Clinica Sierra Vista, it really is unique,” said Calahan.
One of those partnerships is with Dignity Health. With Memorial Hospital right across the street from the center, people can access services easily there as well. For example, someone could have their prenatal checkups all at the center and then go to the hospital for the delivery.