Caring Community: Venice Family Clinic - Clinic responds to disparities in COVID-19 death rates + Clinic's free food markets help patients in need + More

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March 19, 2020
Update 5/15/20 
A recent report released by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health shares a tragic statistic: individuals from low-income areas are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people living in wealthier communities. Crowded living situations, limited access to health care and underlying health conditions are some factors associated with higher COVID-19 transmission and death rates. 

Elizabeth Benson Forer, CEO and executive director, responded, “The dramatically different death rates in low-income and wealthy communities provide a tragic illustration of how poverty and poor health are inextricably linked...The COVID-19 pandemic has made abundantly clear that the health of entire communities relies on the most vulnerable among us.”

Read the full statement on our website.
During these challenging times, Venice Family Clinic is on the front lines to help protect our community and our most vulnerable neighbors. We serve people who live at or below the poverty line, are experiencing homelessness, lack regular access to basic needs like food and hygiene, or are uninsured. Please make a gift to help us rise to the challenge of this evolving situation and support our ability to continue providing quality health care. 
Update 5/1/20 

Clinic ramps up free food giveaways as need increases

Rita Martinez has been stressed out, afraid of having to go to a grocery store to buy food. With the “safer at home” order in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, activities that used to seem simple to her now feel overwhelming. She was one of the 852 people we served at a recent Venice Family Clinic Free Food Market. 

“Coming to pick up this food makes me feel so relieved," she said as she waited in line wearing a black face covering. "I don’t have to worry about not being able to buy food or not having enough to feed my family.”

In total, thanks to our partnerships with Food Forward and Westside Food Bank, we gave away 19,720 pounds of food to nearly 1,750 people throughout Los Angeles that day. 

Venice Family Clinic regularly distributes food to our patients as part of our commitment to addressing food security as central to health care. Our low-income patients now face even greater challenges to accessing food during the stay-at-home orders and may have lost income that makes it even harder to afford. 

Because of this growing need, the Clinic plans to hold free food giveaways once a week – more frequently than we’ve ever held the events before. 

Read more about how we're helping people get access to healthy food.

Update 4/17/20 

Even with social distancing, Clinic plays central role in patients’ lives

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Venice Family Clinic has made several changes to how we deliver our services to ensure the safety of our patients and our medical staff. The Clinic is quickly transforming the majority of our preventative care and behavioral health services to telehealth. We also have regular check-ins via phone with some patients who are managing chronic disease, including those with diabetes and hepatitis C.

Joey Grotts, a resource case manager at the Clinic, shares the integral role the Clinic plays in our patients’ lives. He explained that because many social service agencies have limited their services amid the COVID-19 pandemic that his phone check-ins with patients are more important than ever.

“I work with a lot of single adults who don’t usually have a lot of people to talk to, and social distancing has added to their loneliness. We’ve been a really nice check-in for those patients. They haven’t had much person-to-person contact, and we’re in a time unlike any we’ve ever seen. Those of us at the Clinic are able to provide resources and social support that they can’t find elsewhere."

Read more about how we're helping patients stay connected.


Update 4/3/20

Today, in the midst of a global pandemic, the need to address the health care crisis of homelessness is more important than ever.
The Clinic is answering that call. Starting next week, Venice Family Clinic’s flagship Rose Avenue location will serve as a test site for the entire Westside of Los Angeles, as part of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s plan to provide 1,000 COVID-19 tests per day specifically for people experiencing homelessness.

We will also ramp up our homeless outreach efforts, providing medical care at three of the city’s new shelters, in addition to continuing to provide the full range of primary care services to our homeless patients at our Rose Avenue and People Concern Annenberg Access Center locations. We will continue to work with partners to identify viable housing options to help people self-isolate.

Read more about how we provide medical care to people experiencing homelessness.

Update 3/19/20 
Donate now to help Venice Family Clinic stay on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Your gift will be matched, dollar-for-dollar by the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation.

Today that means you can help us buy food cards for our clients; expand our food distributions; pay for temporary housing for homeless patients to self-isolate; expand tele-health and phone appointment options so our patients with chronic illnesses and mental health needs have continuity of care; and purchase supplies for our health care workers to protect themselves and others while caring for our community.   
Together, we can increase the impact we will have in safeguarding our community.

Donate to Venice Family Clinic