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Sonoma Valley Community Health Center to close during move

SONOMA VALLEY COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER CEO Cheryl Johnson gives Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, a tour of the new health center during a recent visit. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

SONOMA VALLEY COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER CEO Cheryl Johnson gives Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, a tour of the new health center during a recent visit. Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune

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Moving to better digs is always a good thing. But first comes the move itself.

The Sonoma Valley Community Health Center is experiencing just such a transition as it prepares to temporarily close its clinic at 430 W. Napa St. ahead of next week’s move to a bigger, better facility at 19270 Sonoma Highway.

In a news release, health center administrators said they have been working to contact the center’s nearly 7,000 Sonoma Valley patients “to alert them to the temporary closure of the facility and to develop alternative plans for care during that timeframe.”

According to Development Director Kathleen Bianchi-Rossi, the center’s Behavioral Health Division and annex will close on Wednesday of this week, but the primary clinic on Napa Street will remain open. Then on Thursday, the entire clinic will close.

The new facility is slated to open next Tuesday, July 22, giving health center employees a few days to finish packing, moving and setting up in the new facility. Administrators say they also plan to provide some extra training for staff during the transition period.

Health center CEO Cheryl Johnson recently described the new 18,000-square-foot clinic, located across from Maxwell Village Shopping Center, as “absolutely gorgeous,” featuring new dental facilities (which won’t open until September), classroom space, a lab room and other resources. The clinic’s Women, Infants and Children Program services, currently housed near the Sheriff’s Valley substation on Grove Street, will also relocate to the new facility.

Johnson said the facility comes to Sonoma Valley thanks to a $5 million federal grant secured under provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act. Health Center administrators expect patient volume to increase by about 30 percent due to the ACA’s expanded coverage.

Founded in 1992 by Cynthia Solomon – who died this year on May 29 – and Heidi Stovall, the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center’s primary role is to provide health care for Sonoma Valley’s uninsured and underserved residents. Today, the nonprofit is the only safety-net health care provider for Medicaid and the uninsured in the area, according to its website.

As the move is completed, the health center’s attention will shift to the ongoing capital campaign, now in the process of raising $5 million to pay for the improvements at the new site. More information is available at svchc.org.

  • Deborah Stroski

    What a great transition for the people of Sonoma!