One year ago, Venice Family Clinic – the largest free clinic in the country – opened its first location in Inglewood, an office providing early childhood development services to low-income children and families. On Wednesday, March 16, the community gathered to celebrate the addition to the neighborhood.
(Alma Marquez, District Representative for State Senator Roderick Wright, left, and Michael Castillo, Field Representative of Health and Human Services for State Assembly Member Steven C. Bradford, right, present proclamations commemorating the one-year anniversary of Venice Family Clinic’s Children First Early Head Start Inglewood office to the Clinic’s Director of Children First Early Head Start, Stacey Scarborough)
As part of the federally funded Early Head Start program for children ages 0 to 3, Venice Family Clinic’s Children First Early Head Start Inglewood office connects low-income infants, toddlers, and pregnant women with comprehensive medical, dental, and mental health services, plus it provides parents with education in how to interact with their children and keep them safe, all with the goal of making sure children hit their developmental milestones and excel when they begin school.
“When we looked at Inglewood, we found greater need than in any other neighborhood in the program’s service area,” explains Stacey Scarborough, Director of Venice Family Clinic’s Children First Early Head Start program. “The Clinic’s mission compelled us to find a way in.”
About 200 people, including families enrolled in the program, representatives for local elected officials, and staff members of partner agencies, attended the celebration, which was held at the program’s office, located next door to City Hall.
The Inglewood office utilizes the “home-based” Early Head Start model, in which program staff members visit families’ homes, where they provide play opportunities, discuss child safety and nutrition with parents, and screen children for any developmental delays. Home visitors also host parent-child interaction groups and education classes and connect enrollees to additional services at Venice Family Clinic and partner agencies.
“This is when children develop their sense of self,” Scarborough says. “It’s also a crucial time for identifying developmental delays. If we catch their problems early enough, we can literally change the trajectory of their lives.”
In addition to the more than 50 families enrolled at the Inglewood office, Venice Family Clinic’s Children First Early Head Start program serves 130 families out of two Santa Monica locations.
Venice Family Clinic now operates nine sites in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, Inglewood, and Culver City, providing free, quality health care to more than 24,400 low-income and uninsured people annually. For information about how to make an appointment, please call 310.392.8636.
About Venice Family Clinic:
Venice Family Clinic’s mission is to provide free, quality health care to people in need. Established in 1970 by founder Phillip Rossman, MD, and co-founder Mayer B. Davidson, MD, the Clinic has grown from a small storefront operation into the largest free clinic in the country. With the help of nearly 2,100 volunteers, including more than 500 physicians, Venice Family Clinic provides a medical home for over 24,400 patients through nine sites in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, Inglewood, and Culver City. For more information, please visit www.venicefamilyclinic.org.