Health Center pushes to meet funding deadline

Posted on August 28, 2013 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The Sonoma Valley Community Health Center has secured a $100,000 challenge grant for its new facility at 19270 Sonoma Highway, across the street from the Maxwell Village Shopping Center. The grant comes at a critical time for the health center, which needs to raise an additional $500,000 by September 20 in order to close escrow on the new site.

“The timing of the purchase contract is extremely challenging,” said CEO Cheryl Johnson.

The grant, from an anonymous source, is contingent on raising the remaining $400,000 from the community.

“This is a huge vote of confidence in our project,” said Marc Schwager, board member and vice chair of the capital campaign. “It is clear to us that there is strong support for the new project, and we believe the community will step forward to help at this crucial time.”

Schwager said the challenge grant allows the center to accelerate its fundraising efforts as the contract deadline approaches. “Gifts of all sizes arrive every day,” he said.

The grant comes on top of the recently announced $100,000 donation from the Roland and Hazel Todd Trust.

“In the last two weeks, we have obtained a use permit for the facility and secured financing for the new site,” Johnson said. “The next major milestone is to close escrow.”

The site, the long-empty former home of Sonoma Rentals, will enable the organization to move ahead with its plans to open a new facility in 2014 – a year ahead of the original schedule. In 2012, SVCHC received a $5 million grant to build a new center. The timing of the $5 million grant was coupled with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which will expand the Medi-Cal program coverage significantly. The estimate for Sonoma County is a 30 percent increase in Medi-Cal eligible families.

The new health center is vital to handle the projected increase in patients, Johnson said.

The SVCHC is the largest provider of primary medical services to Medi-Cal, low income, and uninsured patients in Sonoma Valley, serving all patients regardless of insurance level or ability to pay.

For more information about the capital campaign or to make or pledge a gift to the capital campaign, call Kathleen Bianchi-Rossi at 939.2330 or send an email to [email protected]