Santa Monica’s Westside Family Health Center Gets Innovation Award
Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP
By Lookout Staff
October 21, 2013 -- The Santa Monica-based Westside Family Health Center (WFHC) has been given a prestigious Innovation Award for finding ways to stretch the use of its small facilities.
The Los Angeles County Medical Association (LACMA) and the Patient Care Foundation of Los Angeles County recognized the four-decade-old organization last week for the “innovative use of facilities to promote and facilitate patient care and patient satisfaction.”
The 1,500-square-foot facility at 1711 Ocean Park Boulevard sees more than 9,500 poor and uninsured patients a year regardless of one’s ability to pay, according to WFHC officials.
“We’ve had to be innovative” said Debra A. Farmer, the organization’s president and CEO. “We have had to be really smart with what we have, but we have a great team here and we really care about what we do. We make it work.”
The award was one of four Innovation awards presented Thursday at the L.A. Healthcare Awards ceremony. Recipients were chosen for their “exemplary contributions toward providing and improving access to quality healthcare in Los Angeles County,” organizers said.
WFHC was nominated for its "efforts to improve the health of (the) community, for focusing on those with low income or uninsured, and for adapting over the years to the needs of the community,” said Dr. Troy Elander, president of the Patient Care Foundation of Los Angeles County.
“You started focusing on women's health and then morphed, as was needed, to prenatal care, pediatrics, and then concerns of adolescents,” Elander said. “Then you added the mobile clinic to get to the patients who couldn't come to you.
“With a wonderful attitude, you seem to continually be asking, "How can we best serve the health needs of this community?' ''
WFHC was founded in 1974 by a “small group of dedicated community leaders and health careproviders” as part of a larger social justice movement in Santa Monica. They initially “helped women learn more about their bodies and their health, shared experiences and empowered them through knowledge.”
Since then, the center has opened a prenatal clinic; established pediatric, adolescent helath service and family practice programs, and added a mobile medical unit.
For more information visit www.wfhcenter.org.