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Congresswoman Maxine Waters Visits Venice Family Clinic in Mar Vista Gardens

September 1, 2009
Press Release
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) today toured the Venice Family Clinic in Mar Vista Gardens as part of National Health Center Week (August 9-15), which recognizes the importance of community health centers for patients in need. Participating centers throughout the Los Angeles area are providing a variety of free health screenings and services to commemorate the week. In fact, Venice Family Clinic already offers free health care services to its diverse, 24,400 patients.

"The Mar Vista Gardens Clinic and the larger Venice Family Clinic system have been providing high-quality, no-cost health care to thousands of area residents for many years. These clinics are often the only access to health care that some of my constituents receive, particularly here in Mar Vista Gardens, and so I am happy to be here today to tour the clinic and see the important services available to those in need," said Congresswoman Waters.

The Venice Family Clinic Mar Vista Gardens site is located on the grounds of the Mar Vista Gardens housing development, which is the largest public housing development on the Westside of Los Angeles County. After touring this clinic Congresswoman Waters visited a new, larger Venice Family Clinic under construction just a few blocks away, which will triple its capacity in the Mar Vista area. In addition to primary care, the new site will offer expanded mental health, dental, and health education services.

Congresswoman Waters then presented a Certificate of Special Recognition to Venice Family Clinic's CEO, Elizabeth Benson Forer, in recognition of National Health Center Week and Venice Family Clinic's work providing free, quality health care to people in need from Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, Inglewood, and Culver City.

"Since approximately 47 million Americans live each day without health insurance, there is a desperate need for access to affordable, quality health care in this country.  I commend Ms. Benson Forer and the physicians, staff and volunteers of the Venice Family Clinic for doing what they can in this economic and health care environment to meet the needs of the patients that they serve. Their impact here on the Westside of Los Angeles and throughout the Metro area is one of vital importance and great worth."

Venice Family Clinic is the largest free clinic in the country. It commemorated National Health Center Week with a special outreach event on Health Care for the Homeless Day, Wednesday, August 12. Nearly 4,000 of Venice Family Clinic's 24,400 patients are homeless.

The second week of August each year is dedicated National Health Center Week, recognizing the service and contributions of Community, Migrant, Homeless and Public Housing Health Centers in providing access to affordable, high quality, cost-effective health care to medically vulnerable and underserved people in the U.S.

More information can be found at www.healthcenterweek.org or www.venicefamilyclinic.org 

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