As part of Sutter’s not-for-profit organization, Palo Alto Medical Foundation is dedicated to enhancing health in the communities it serves. We support a wide range of activities and partnerships designed to keep people healthy at home, at school and in the environment and to improve access to medical care.
PAMF Community Partnerships
Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) offers primary medical care, preventive care, psychiatric counseling and support groups for people of all ages. While AACI specializes in providing services to the Asian community, they are open to providing services to all people from underserved communities.
Health center staff members speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Burmese, Vietnamese and English along with several different dialects. While AACI receives reimbursements from several sources, services are provided regardless of the client’s ability to pay.
AACI offers a robust menu of programs. In addition to primary care services, they offer mental health counseling, HIV/AIDS assistance and the Center for Survivors of Torture. They also offer a multitude of recovery programs, including adolescent substance abuse, CalWorks, CARE and drinking driver programs.
Funding from the Palo Alto Medical Foundation will allow AACI to support a program for patient navigators, advocates who help patients manage medical appointments, get answers to insurance questions, learn more about their condition, follow treatment instructions and more.
Axis Community Health is a federally qualified health center located in Eastern Alameda County. Axis offers services from five sites in the Tri-Valley area and serves more than 14,000 community members annually. Its mission is to provide quality, affordable, accessible and compassionate health care services that promote the well-being of all community members.
With the support of the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Axis will hire a pharmacist for their diabetes program.
Youth Nutrition Program/5-2-1-0
Supported by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) and El Camino Hospital, “5-2-1-0: Numbers to Live By” seeks to improve the health of children and their families using a social marketing message to encourage children to eat fruits and vegetables, participate in active play, reduce screen time and eliminate consumption of sugary beverages.
The program reaches more than 8,000 children and their families each year in a variety of settings including preschools, elementary schools, a high school, day care centers and the community.
Healthier Kids Foundation has spent more than a decade expanding children's health coverage in Santa Clara County. The VisionFirst Program screens 12,000 children in preschool, child care, and Head Start sites for vision problems using a photo optic scan camera. The program staff assists parents of children with identified issues to find and utilize follow-up care and prescribed treatment. If parents and children are uninsured, the program staff assists parents in enrolling their children into health coverage and then accessing follow-up vision services.
HKF also provides the Baby Gateway Program, classes on nutrition and prevention of childhood obesity; and a dental program which screens children for undetected dental issues.
Indian Health Center (IHC) provides high-quality, culturally competent medical and wellness services to American Indians, Alaska Natives and all other people regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. It serves infants to elders and takes pride in meeting the needs of their diverse clients.
Providers care for more than 200 patients every day. Nearly all of the 20,000 people seen at the IHC are at or below the federal poverty level. IHC provides care for low-income people with no health insurance and offers a variety of programs that can help people pay for health services.
Funding from PAMF will be used for three initiatives: a case management program, diabetic retinopathy screening and hepatitis C screening.
MayView Community Health Center provides primary health care and mental health care services to low-income and uninsured community members. PAMF’s support has allowed MayView to provide a diabetes management program by hiring a pharmacist to join its team.
Being mentally and emotionally healthy is an essential part of well-being. PAMF values and supports mental health services in a variety of ways. Several of the federally qualified health centers that we support provide mental health services, including MayView Community Health Center, Gardner Family Health Network and Asian Americans for Community Involvement. Through PAMF’s support, MayView has started a Behavioral Health program to serve patients who need mental health care at that clinic.
In addition, we have provided financial support to organizations such as National Alliance on Mental Health, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Eating Disorders Resource Center and CASSY Bay Area, which provides counseling and support for youth.
“Coming home from the hospital can be overwhelming if you don’t have proper support,” Yvonne Chan, program manager, Peninsula Circle of Care, says. “Our program connects people to services they need to transition from hospital to home or other care settings.”
Peninsula Circle of Care, a partnership between MPMC and Peninsula Family Service, started with a grant from an anonymous donor to Mills-Peninsula Hospital Foundation. MPMC staff includes a team of nurses while Peninsula Family Service provides social workers and wellness coaches, who make home visits.
“We help people understand how to organize their medications,” Yvonne explains. “We make sure they feel comfortable sharing concerns and asking questions at their upcoming doctor appointments. If they need in-home caregivers, we help find them. We bridge the gaps in healthcare.”
Other available services and benefits include food, a medical alert system, home modifications such as handrails, and “pretty much anything that supports patient health,” Yvonne says.
In 2017, Peninsula Circle of Care served 672 patients, significantly lowering MPMC’s 30-day readmission rates. The hospital funds the program for patients who live in San Mateo County and need support at home. “A lot of older adults are stressed,” says Susan Houston, director, Older Adult Services, Peninsula Family Service. “Due to the high cost of living in this area they might not have enough money to live on or health insurance. Our wellness coaches and social work staff are experts in linking clients to free or low-cost resources in the county that they may not be aware of.”
Ravenswood Family Health Center in East Palo Alto provides adult and pediatric medical care to 11,000 area residents.
The Palo Alto Medical Foundation has partnered with Ravenswood for more than a decade, supporting the medical center with donations, gifts-in-kind, advice and medical personnel.
A recent PAMF donation supported the construction of a medical center. In 2015, the Ravenswood Family Medical Center opened a one-stop shop for health care services with significantly increased capacity. It is the largest community-owned resource building in East Palo Alto, with 56 exam rooms and two treatment rooms and housing 15 doctors and mid-level providers.
PAMF funding provided the means to install an electronic health documentation system that supports multiple departments. By contract, PAMF also provides radiology services, including mammograms, ultrasound, chest X-rays and image review, at the Ravenswood site.
To help needy families access primary medical care and to nurture the next generation of physicians in Sonoma County, Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital supports the Santa Rosa Community Center's Residency Program. At Vista Clinic, family medicine doctors care for patients and receive outpatient training. More than half of all family medicine physicians practicing in Sonoma County have graduated from the residency program. Learn more about the Santa Rosa Community Health Center.
Santa Cruz Community Health Centers (SCCHC) launched in 1974 as the Santa Cruz Women’s Health Center (SCWHC), a private not-for-profit health collective providing reproductive services and education in downtown Santa Cruz. Today, SCCHC provides comprehensive primary care to thousands of women and children annually.
In 2014, SCCHC opened a second clinic, the East Cliff Family Health Center, which expanded services to include men and also house a new pediatric department. Located in the East Cliff Village Shopping Center, the 9,000-square-foot clinic includes 15 exam rooms, counseling rooms and space for health education and group visits. Support from the Palo Alto Medical Foundation helps with the operation costs of the new East Cliff Family Health Center. SCCHC estimates the new center allows them to double the number of patient visits annually.
Samaritan House improves access to primary and specialty care by providing screenings, radiology and labs to the uninsured and underinsured.
Samaritan House offers two free medical and dental clinics—in San Mateo and Redwood City—to about 2,500 uninsured or under-insured households throughout the county.
Bart Charlow, CEO, Samaritan House, says MPMC started playing a key role in supporting the nonprofit organization 25 years ago. “Doctors from Mills-Peninsula realized many of our clients weren’t getting proper medical care, so they set up a chair and hung up a couple of sheets for privacy and started volunteering their time to see patients in our original facility.”
Mills-Peninsula grants Samaritan House funds “to support our San Mateo Free Clinic and offers laboratory and radiology services for our patients,” Bart says. “Several Mills-Peninsula medical practitioners volunteer at our San Mateo clinic.”
MPMC also funds five medical respite beds at Samaritan House’s Safe Harbor Shelter for MPMC patients who don’t have a safe place to recover after release from the hospital. Safe Harbor Shelter is a 90-bed, 10-cot homeless shelter in South San Francisco.
Older adults have unique health needs and are too often underserved in a traditional medical setting. We work closely with the following community-based partners to help older adults:
- Avenidas Village
- Chinese American Coalition for Compassionate Care
- Ombudsman Services of San Mateo
- PAMF David Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation: Successful Aging Initiative
- Senior Network Services
A not-for-profit, federally qualified health center (FQHC), Tri-City Health provides high-quality medical care to almost 22,000 low-income, uninsured and homeless residents in southern and eastern Alameda County. With nine locations and a mobile clinic, Tri-City Health is the only FQHC in the city of Fremont offering a “one-stop” shop to anyone in need of health care.
Thanks to a grant provided by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Tri-City Health Center purchased a mobile unit that provides medical assistance for the homeless in south county.
Women’s health encompasses many forms of care, from screening mammograms to counseling and shelter for victims of domestic violence. PAMF supports prevention, treatment and counseling for women in the community.
At the Ravenswood Family Medical Center, PAMF physicians and technologists provide digital screening mammograms, breast ultrasound and breast biopsies, if needed. Even uninsured women receive a complete cycle of breast health care, from diagnosis to treatment.
In addition to Ravenswood, PAMF has provided financial support to: