SANTA CRUZ — Santa Cruz Community Health will continue to receive nearly $2 million in federal funding to support its efforts to provide affordable, comprehensive and bilingual health services to residents throughout Santa Cruz County.

Representative Jimmy Panetta, representing the 19th District, which includes most of the northern counties and hugs the coast in southern counties, helped secure ongoing $1.9 million in grant funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Health Centers Cluster Program, one of many federal programs. Disburses funds from the Affordable Care Act.

“Our community’s health outcomes and quality of life are linked to access to quality, affordable health care options,” Panetta said in a release. “I am proud to fight for Santa Cruz Community Health Center and ensure critical federal support to continue serving Santa Cruz’s vulnerable population and patients, regardless of their ability to pay. I am committed to strengthening the federal government’s partnership with local community health centers to continue expanding care options for everyone who calls California’s 19th Congressional District home.”

Santa Cruz Community Health Chief Strategy and Impact Officer Dena Loizos explained that as a federally qualified health center, Community Providers has been receiving base funding support from federal programs for 10 years and that it comes with specific provider requirements, such as serving underserved populations. A sliding fee scale is based on ability to pay and management with the board of directors.

The grants facilitate comprehensive services for vulnerable community members in both English and Spanish at three health centers in Live Oak, Santa Cruz and Ben Lomond.

“We are thrilled to continue to receive these federal grant dollars,” Loijos said in the release. “Through this ongoing base funding support we are able to provide comprehensive services to the most vulnerable people in our community. We serve the physical, emotional and social needs of over 12,000 people, including over 2,000 homeless, regardless of their ability to pay.

A 3.7-acre health and housing campus in Live Oak opens in November 2022. A Santa Cruz Community Health Clinic is on the left, a Dientes Community Dental Care facility and a housing complex with 57 units of affordable housing hover over Midpen Housing. In the background. Santa Cruz-based Bogard Construction led the building effort for the entire project. (PK Hatties – Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Loizos said the funding has been taken in previous years to support a new clinic at Live OK on Capitola Road, a new satellite clinic in Ben Lomond, as well as an expansion of the organization’s behavioral health department.

Live Oak Clinic opened late last year and shares a campus with oral health provider Dientes Community Dental. Phase II of Live Oak’s campus includes 57 units of affordable housing, and construction efforts are underway.

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