Savie Health, a free health clinic in Lompoc for Santa Barbara County’s uninsured community members, raised close to $50,000 at its Thanks for Giving luncheon, held Nov. 4 at Pico Los Alamos.

Dr. Melissa Smith, the director of Health Equity Initiatives at UCSB, and an international advocate on women’s health issues, was the keynote speaker.

She engaged the audience by asking who they felt would be more likely to have a healthy pregnancy: a Latina who works in the field picking strawberries, or a Caucasian woman who eats those strawberries.

She then shared data about health disparities of Latina women in Santa Barbara County, including that they tend to receive prenatal care later than their Caucasian counterparts; have a higher rate of pregnancy related mortality; and that the proportion of births to adolescent mothers is five times greater in northern Santa Barbara County than in the city of Santa Barbara.

Emcee for the luncheon was Jon Clark, president of the Santa Barbara-based Bower Foundation. Jim Glines served as the event’s auctioneer.

“The Bower Foundation’s pledge to Savie Health is the single largest one ever made to a North County nonprofit,” said Clark.

Clark said he believes strongly in the mission of Savie Health: to provide free healthcare to uninsured community members regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.

“It costs about $8 per month for us to care for a patient at risk of stroke, but it can literally cost more than a million dollars over a lifetime to care for the same patient in the hospital,” said Dr. Ahmad Nooristani, Savie Health Board chair, medical director, and founder.

During the event, Savie Health honored Ashley Costa, executive director with the Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization, and Lompoc Valley Medical Center, for their outstanding contributions towards the clinic’s success during its first year of operations.

Savie Health thanks event sponsors including:

Pumpkin Pie Sponsor: Mechanics Bank

Cornbread Stuffing Sponsors: Dignity Health, Lompoc Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, Lompoc Valley Medical Center

Mashed Potatoes Sponsors: Allan Hancock College Foundation, Bank of the Sierra, CenCal Health, Coast Hills, Islamic Center of Lompoc, Lompoc Rotary, Roger and Virginia McConnell, Melville, Planned Parenthood, Lompoc Vision, McCune Foundation.

Cranberry Sponsors: Assisted, CommUnify, Community Bank of Santa Maria, Cottage Health, Family Services Agency, Inklings Printing, Noozhawk, Eryn & Craig Shugart.

For more about Savie Health, call 805-743-4776, or visit SavieHealth.org.