After a tumultuous few years, the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics is using new federal grant funding to open a temporary clinic in Goleta.
The four-clinic system was at risk of closing after years of operating with a $250,000-per-month deficit. A coalition of local foundations and donors raised $600,000 and implemented a turnaround plan last year to cut costs and keep the doors open at the Eastside Dental Clinic, Eastside Neighborhood Clinic, Westside Neighborhood Clinic and Isla Vista Neighborhood Clinic.
Officials are looking for at least an 11,000-square-foot space in Old Town, but for now the new clinic will be operating out of temporary quarters at 334 S. Patterson Ave., Suite 203, across from Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital.
The facility in the Cavalletto Medical Office Building opens May 1 and will provide family medicine, pediatric care, women’s health, cancer detection, diabetes, health testing, urgent care, vaccinations and behavioral health services. Appointments can be made at 805.617.7878, and walk-ins are also accepted.
The temporary clinic is the first step of a two-year plan to establish a larger, permanent site, Breuninger said. By the end of that two-year grant period, she added, seven providers will deliver services for about 3,750 patients.
Officials expect the new Goleta clinic to handle 13,000 patient visits by the end of 2015, Breuninger said.
The federal grant funding gave SBNC $813,500 and annual funding of $650,000, starting this year. That money isn’t expected to fully fund a larger site, so the clinics will continue to depend on donor support to keep going.
Like all federally qualified health centers, the clinics must serve every patient, regardless of ability to pay. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act could help the bottom line since more uninsured patients will be eligible for Medi-Cal or other forms of insurance, which means the clinics get paid in reimbursements.