Residents of the Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC), which is slated for closure by the end of next year, will get some continuing specialized healthcare services through a new contract awarded by the state’s Department of Developmental Services. The $2.5 million contract for a new regional “healthcare hub” was put out for bid in December, and Sen. Mike McGuire announced Friday that Santa Rosa Community Health Centers has been awarded the grant.

In the contract with the North Bay Regional Center, Santa Rosa Community Health Centers (SRHC) will provide specialized healthcare services in Sonoma County for all residents with developmental disabilities. This is critically important for the nearly 350 SDC residents who will transition into the community yet continue to need specialized healthcare services.

“We know that this closure process has been extremely difficult to so many residents and their families over the past three years, which is why this investment is so important,” McGuire said. “Not only will these funds help keep health care, dental and mental health close to home in Sonoma County, we are creating a new healthcare hub for hundreds of Californians who need specialized services to thrive.”

SRCHC currently operates nine other regional federally qualified health centers throughout the Sonoma County area. This latest addition will be located at 1300 N. Dutton Ave. in Santa Rosa and will serve 7,000 community members, including an estimated 1,000 people with a range of intellectual and developmental disabilities. Other current SRCHC facilities include Santa Rosa Community Dental Clinic at the same Dutton Avenue address, as well as Roseland Pediatrics, a clinic at Santa Rosa Junior College and several other neighborhood health centers in the Santa Rosa area.

The new healthcare hub is located near several public transit stations and will have ample public parking available, and offer residents high-quality healthcare, dental care, mental health and adaptive services. The DDS grant will provide $2.5 million to support the cost of renovating the new facility to meet the needs of those accessing services at this location.

“We believe health care is a fundamental human right—everyone should have the opportunity for a full and healthy life,” said SRCHC Chief Executive Naomi Fuchs. “There is a lot of work still to do and we are committed to meeting the health care needs of our community by creating a health care home for those with developmental disabilities.”

The healthcare hub will include custom exam rooms with special adaptive equipment designed for individuals with developmental disabilities, specialized services delivered by trained medical professionals, along with specialized services for shoes and durable medical equipment – two services unique to SDC that were at risk with its December, 2018 closure.

This is the first time the Department and a Regional Center have partnered with a local community health center to fund a comprehensive healthcare hub with specialized services for individuals with developmental disabilities.