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Community Service Programs

Sansum Clinic in the Community

Despite a global pandemic Sansum Clinic continues to provide quality patient care and high standards for the communities we serve. We have a long-standing commitment to meet the needs of the low income, uninsured, and underinsured patients in our community through our Charity Care Program. We have a policy that provides guidelines for identifying patients who may qualify for assistance and also establishes the financial screening criteria with an objective of providing care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.

In our commitment to provide ‘good health for everyone’ we have offered flu shots through our community-wide Flu Shot Program. Due to the pandemic, we had to do things differently to ensure social distancing and to maximize the safety of our patients and staff. We offered a drive-up option and also offered patients the chance to receive a flu shot during medical appointments. The message to the community was the importance of getting a flu shot to offer protection against the flu alone, but also to lessen the chances of potentially-disastrous simultaneous COVID-19 and influenza infections. Sansum Clinic donated 2,000 flu shots to the Santa Barbara Public Health Department which were distributed free-of-charge in their mobile outreach units. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread, resulting in better health and well-being for the residents of our community, especially during the pandemic. This same concept will be important with COVID-19 vaccinations.

Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics

Sansum Clinic is proud to partner with the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics (SBNC) providing them with free diagnostic services for their patients who have no health insurance. This type of partnership is rarely available to safety net providers elsewhere in the country.

SBNC is an independent, nonprofit healthcare organization dedicated to providing high quality, affordable, medical, behavioral health and dental care to those in need in Santa Barbara County, regardless of one’s ability to pay.

SBNC provides care to 1 in 10 people in the community and they’ve been serving the community for over 45 years. Over 22,000 patients are cared for at four medical clinics, three dental clinics, an integrated care clinic and health promotion services.

Since 2010 Sansum Clinic has provided 6,434 SBNC patients with 7,895 diagnostic services totaling over $3.1 million. The cardiology diagnostic services include echocardiogram and cardiovascular device monitoring and other diagnostic services such as general and special radiology, MRI scans, CT scans, ultrasounds and mammograms.

Since reinstating the colonoscopy screening program in 2019, Sansum Clinic, in partnership with the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara, screened 69 SBNC patients

SEE International

Sansum Clinic partners with SEE International’s Santa Barbara Vision Care Program to provide eye care services, at no cost, to patients of SEE who have no health insurance. Since the start of this partnership in 2019, Sansum Clinic’s ophthalmology physicians and medical staff provided eye care to 55 patients (316 services). Eighty percent of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured, and adequate vision care can make a remarkable impact on a person’s well-being.

Doctors Without Walls/Santa Barbara Street Medicine

This nonprofit organization’s mission is to provide free, volunteer medical care for the most vulnerable underserved community members of Santa Barbara County. Doctors Without Walls – Santa Barbara State Street Medicine (DWW-SBSM) has worked to overcome barriers to care that often inhibit people from accessing services by going to where the care is needed such as community parks. Education and training is provided to DWW-SBSM volunteers in order to promote the practice of humanitarian medicine.

The volunteers are able to meet, serve, and build trust while providing medical care. The pandemic changed the way they served these residents. They saw the need to increase street rounds and rounds with their mobile medical van. Rather than stand-alone clinics, they went to the clients with their backpacks containing wound care materials and medications. The need for social distancing took priority.

They saw a large increase in food insecurity among this population. A new program, The Food Bag Collaborative, was initiated. Large quantities of non- perishable food items were purchased, bagged and delivered to nonprofits working closely with the underserved population. DWW-SBSM would get 40+ bags of food a week to distribute to the unsheltered population. Along with hospitality items, medical care, and socks, they also became very popular with the food bags. In 2020, DWW-SBSM served 4,305 clients with socks, shampoo, toothbrushes and medical care. This was an increase of 403 clients from 2019.

DWW-SBSM is able to fulfill their mission thanks in part to the partnership with Sansum Clinic. Many Sansum Clinic physicians and staff members volunteer their time which allows DWW-SBSM to expand their reach within the community. Every year during the holidays Sansum Clinic sets up boxes in the facilities to collect socks for the DWW-SBSM volunteers. Men’s white athletic socks are one of the most valuable pieces of clothing to people without permanent housing. Feet work overtime when there’s no warm home to return to each night, and a new pair of socks is greatly appreciated and welcomed by the homeless.

We would like to acknowledge the following physicians and staff who graciously volunteer their time to Doctors Without Walls/Santa Barbara Street Medicine:  
  • Jesse Basra
  • Julia Beccia
  • Maria Etcheverry 
  • Mauricio Gluitz Johnson 
  • Marie Claire Lamb, MD
  • Alex Leasure, MD
  • Aaron Lewis
  • Lynn Matis, MFT (Retired) 
  • Ashley McGrogan, PA 
  • David Phreaner, MD
  • Anita Rai, MD
  • Berenice Ruvalcaba
  • Sean Scheiner
  • Brett Simon, OD
  • John Vallee, MD (Retired)

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