Santa Cruz Community Health (SCCH) has announced the opening of a new health clinic in Ben Lomond. The two-bed clinic, slated to open on Jan. 24, will provide a bevy of health care services on a sliding scale, including Covid testing and vaccines.
While this is the group’s first foray into the San Lorenzo Valley, they’re no strangers to providing high-quality comprehensive health care at a low cost.
“We strive every day to improve the health of our patients and the community,” said Leslie Conner, CEO of SCCH. “We are proud and excited to bring health care services to more families and individuals in the San Lorenzo Valley.”
Dena Loijos, chief strategy and impact officer with SCCH, said she is eager to start offering health care support to the underserved communities of the San Lorenzo Valley.
“Santa Cruz Mountain Health Center will offer a selection of primary care services to begin with, and we expect that we will quickly expand services to provide a full primary care practice to the community,” Loijos said.
The facility will be located in the Wee Kirk Church Building in downtown Ben Lomond at 9500 Central Ave., just one block from Highway 9. The building, which boasts an historical designation, was previously the home of a medical practitioner, making the transfer turnkey for SCCH.
The move will come as good news for those looking for health care options in the Valley, as earlier this year Sutter Health and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation announced they would begin to move away from offering urgent care at its Scotts valley location.
“We want to serve our patients where they are,” Conner said, noting that many current SCCH patients reside in the San Lorenzo Valley. “SLV is a remote region compared to much of Santa Cruz and it has long been underserved. Our goal is to increase access to high-quality, affordable health care for the mountain community.”
Santa Cruz Mountain Health Center will initially operate 30 hours a week, serving approximately 2,000 patients who live in the San Lorenzo Valley area. SCCH will be staffing the clinic with three experienced physicians and a team of support staff. Moving forward, increased services will be offered at the Santa Cruz Mountain Health Center based on patient needs.
The hope is clinicians will expand their coverage to include evenings and weekends in the near future, regardless of one’s ability to pay.
“We accept Medi-Cal, Medicare and many types of private insurance; we also provide services to people who are uninsured on a sliding fee scale, based on income and family size. The sliding fee scale frequently slides to zero. We also assist people without coverage to apply for medical insurance, food access, and other programs,” said Loijos.
While the agency has been a health care provider in Santa Cruz for 45 years, SCCH is currently building another facility in Live Oak, and is partnering with Dientes of Santa Cruz and Mid-Pen Housing to offer a fully functional housing and health care campus. The clinics are slated to open in late 2022, and 57 low-income housing units will come available in 2023.
While walk-in visitors are welcome to the new Ben Lomond location, interested residents are encouraged to call 831-427-3500 beginning Jan. 10 to schedule an appointment.
Looking for more information about SCCH? Visit schealthcenters.org.