Local community health centers Venice Family Clinic and South Bay Family Health Care to merge later this year
By Kerry Slater
Venice Family Clinic is merging with another community health center to bring care to a contiguous service area that will stretch from South Bay to the Santa Monica Mountains.
This week, Venice Family Clinic and South Bay Family Health Care announced that the board of directors of both nonprofit organizations have agreed to merge.
According to a February 18 press release, the two community health centers–each part of their communities for more than 50 years–will join forces later this year to create one unified organization.
“We will be stronger together, which will result in better, more comprehensive care for our patients,” says Jann Hamilton Lee, CEO of South Bay Family Health Care. “From years of collaborating, we know that our organizations are aligned in mission, values, and culture, and share a profound commitment to delivering care with compassion, dignity and respect.”
Patients of both health centers can expect the same “high quality care they currently enjoy,” the duo said in their announcement, both during the transition and after the merger is complete. Afterwards, the unified organization will bring an expanded set of programs and services to patients by leveraging the unique and complementary expertise of each entity.
For example, South Bay is one of a few sites in Los Angeles County that offers CenteringPregnancy™ and CenteringParenting™, a patient-centered approach that is proven to yield better outcomes for prenatal patients and to reduce racial disparities in preterm births. Venice Family Clinic is a pioneer in serving the distinct needs of people experiencing homelessness and is a local leader in street medicine, which brings health care directly to people who currently lack housing.
“South Bay Family Health Care and Venice Family Clinic have built strong legacies of finding innovative ways to care and advocate for our patients, regardless of their ability to pay or immigration status,” said Elizabeth Benson Forer, CEO at Venice Family Clinic. “Joining forces presents many opportunities for us to grow as we learn from each other and make an even greater impact on the lives of the people we serve.”
In total, the two organizations currently serve 45,000 patients in neighboring service areas, with some current areas of overlap. The combined organization will provide care to a contiguous service area that stretches from Los Angeles County’s South Bay to the Santa Monica Mountains. Over time, the goal is to expand within that service area to provide quality health care to others whose need for health care remains unmet.
Completing the merger is subject to customary closing conditions, including securing necessary regulatory approvals.