Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 13 / 29 March 2018

HealthRight 360 opens ICC


The new HealthRight 306 integrated care center opened in San Francisco last week. Photo: Tony Taylor
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On the Southeast corner of the multidirectional intersection of South Van Ness Avenue and Mission and Otis streets, a plethora of health services are available to homeless and low-income people under one roof. The first of its kind in California, HealthRight 360's integrated care center, or ICC, has opened.

With more than 200 business and city officials and HealthRight 360 supporters in attendance, Mayor Ed Lee and Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) led the center's ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new 1563 Mission Street complex August 29.

The ICC facility was funded by a combination of new market tax credit allocations and donor contributions: $51 million came in 2016 from the tax allocation and a capital campaign raised $6 million, according to a SF Weekly story. Kaiser Permanente, Ramsell Corporation and Sutter Health/CPMC donated a few million. Twenty-one private gifts ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 were granted as well, the paper reported.

Constructed inside of a 100-year-old building, the five-story, 50,000 square foot service center is open to everyone, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. As a Federally Qualified Health Center, ICC accepts Medi-Cal and Medicare, according to a HealthRight 360 news release.

The health and wellness center offers a multitude of services, including integrated primary medical and mental health care, dentistry, pharmacy, substance use disorder treatment, supportive and educational services, the release stated.

Included in the wellness and support programs are family reunification and art therapy, a clothes closet for job interviews, resources for housing, employment and education, a Five Keys adult charter high school, as well as chiropractic medicine and acupuncture services.

"San Francisco is leading the way forward with the transformational model of the integrated care center we have opened," Pelosi said in a statement. "The innovative, coordinated care model available will provide world-class care and address many of the practical burdens that prevent families from receiving all the care and support they deserve."

The program was able to expand from six to 11 exam rooms and grow from previously serving 6,000 patients to plans of seeing 11,000, said HealthRight 360 CEO Dr. Vitka Eisen. There are plans to increase the medical staff of seven full-time doctors, which includes two psychiatrists and one director of addiction medicine.

"Health care is a basic right, not a privilege," Lee said, according to video of the ribbon-cutting ceremony. "We are proud to provide access to health care for all in our city."

After finding it increasingly difficult to help clients navigate a complex system with limited coordination of care among health and social service providers, the ICC was created.

HealthRight 360 previously operated out of a large red building at 1735 Mission Street at Duboce Avenue. Secured in 2014, the new centrally located ICC building was seismically upgraded and completely renovated to accommodate offices for infectious disease specialists and private family counseling rooms. Formerly a garment company office building, construction at 1563 Mission Street broke ground in May 2015.

"We consider this to be the nexus of many communities that we serve," said Eisen of the new location. "We're sitting at a crossroads of the Mission, SOMA, the Tenderloin, and the Western Addition, and those are largely where many of our clients come from.

"By offering integrated services all under one roof, we simplify access to care and reduce the compounding barriers preventing many from receiving vital services," Eisen added. "Inside and out, the ICC embodies dignity, character, hope, and the transformative power of good care."

HealthRight 360 provides services to more than 12,000 homeless and low-income clients in San Francisco alone and nearly 40,000 throughout California. HealthRight 360 was created in 2011 with the merger of Haight Ashbury Free Clinics and Walden House. It merged with Lyon-Martin Health Services, which works with women and transgender people, in 2015.

As reported by the Bay Area Reporter in August 2016, Lyon-Martin is currently housed at 1748 Market Street in a timeworn, two-story building. Lyon-Martin will not move into HealthRight 360's new complex, but will move to the first floor of 1735 Mission Street this fall, a spokesperson told the B.A.R.

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