Community rallies to launch new Virginia Garcia Health Center
For many migrant farm worker families and other vulnerable populations, the term “Virginia Garcia” has become synonymous with hope, dignity and an achievable path toward better health. And now thanks to a wide network of community partners, a new Virginia Garcia clinic – called the Newberg Clinic – opens this spring in Yamhill County.
The clinic expects to serve about 2,400 patients during its first year of operation, providing a patient-centered medical home with primary care, behavioral health and dental services. It will help fill a much-needed gap in this beautiful, largely agricultural area of Oregon. Estimates are about 18,000 Yamhill County residents live in low-income households, and more than 30 percent are uninsured.
“Although the Affordable Care Act has dramatically improved access for many Oregonians, large portions of our migrant farm worker population still won’t be covered,” said Gil Muñoz, CEO of Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, which is in its 35th year and now operates 12 clinics in Washington and Yamhill counties. “Opening the Newberg Clinic helps us continue to reach patients where they live and work and provide the best care for those who need it most.”
The Newberg Clinic is supported in part by an $850,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Its dedicated team of grassroots partners includes Providence Newberg Medical Center, Yamhill County Health Department, George Fox University, Yamhill County Coordinated Care Organization and Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic.
“This is a giant step in the right direction to increase affordable access to health care in Newberg,” said Lori Van Zanten, chief executive of Providence Newberg Medical Center. “We look forward to growing our partnership with Virginia Garcia to benefit patients and strengthen the community.”