La Clinica will reopen the doors of its Phoenix Health Center to patients on Monday, just over a month after the Almeda fire swept through the neighborhood, leaving the building standing amidst the destruction of most of the mobile homes and businesses that surround it.
“We are extremely grateful to the crews who fought this fire and full of love and support for residents as they recover from this tragedy,” said CEO Brenda Johnson. “We are hopeful Phoenix Health Center can serve as a resource for the community in its time of great need.”
About 1,300 patients across La Clinica were displaced in the fire, and about half of those were Phoenix Health Center patients. Employees of the center have been calling patients to understand what support they may need and seeing them at other La Clinica centers or through video visits. Although La Clinica is open to all Jackson County residents, its mission is to serve those living at lower incomes.
While Phoenix Health Center itself was untouched in the fire, flames burned up to the building, melting its fence, consuming landscaping, filling the building with smoke, and ruining data and telecommunication cables.
Under skies smoky from other fires on Friday, employees returned to the structure for the first time since the blaze, some also taking in their first view of the charred landscape that surrounds it. Johnson talked with the group about perseverance, hope, and the future. Their job now is more important than ever, she told them.
“This has been a difficult time,” acknowledged Practice Manager Amy McClung. “We’re concerned about our patients, and many of the employees know people who have been affected or have been affected themselves. But it’s good to be back, and we’re ready to be back in service.”
Phoenix Health Center is open Mondays-Saturdays at 3617 S. Pacific Highway.
Contact: Julie Wurth, communications officer, 541-512-3153, 541-840-6513, firstname.lastname@example.org
About La Clinica
La Clinica offers wellness-focused medical, dental, mental health, and substance use disorder care at 21 sites: six primary health centers, East Medford Dental Clinic, 13 school-based centers, and in a mobile center. Although its mission focuses on providing access to low-income people, La Clinica is open to everyone. La Clinica was founded in 1989 to serve the primary and preventive care needs of migrant and seasonal farm workers in Jackson County. In 2001, in response to an increasing need for affordable primary health, La Clinica expanded its scope to serve every member of the community. All services are offered regardless of a patient’s ability to pay, and on a sliding-scale basis for the uninsured and low income.