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Kaiser Permanente and La Maestra Community Health Center Celebrate Ribbon Cutting of Innovative 'Green' Clinic

$1 Million Grant from Kaiser Permanente Funds Construction of Environmental Model of Excellence for Community Clinics

Published 07-16-10

Submitted by Kaiser Permanente

PRNewswire/ -- With today's ribbon-cutting ceremony, La Maestra Community Health Center in San Diego, Calif., officially welcomed City Heights neighbors and community leaders to preview the new, larger facility which, thanks to a $1 million grant from Kaiser Permanente, will now increase capacity three-fold and be able to accommodate an anticipated 180,000 patient and client visits per year. The funding represents the largest grant La Maestra has received to date from any single donor, and the largest grant Kaiser Permanente has ever given to a San Diego nonprofit organization.

La Maestra's new facility is also designed with the highest environmentally friendly standards in air quality ventilation, lighting, energy-use sources, waste management and natural materials, and with 36,440 square feet of space in three stories, will allow La Maestra to increase the full range of primary health care and social services to City Heights.

"We are proud to have supported La Maestra in meeting its mission," said Benjamin K. Chu, MD, MPH, president, Kaiser Permanente Southern California. "La Maestra and Kaiser Permanente are both committed to meeting the challenges of responsible environmental stewardship in the work we do. We all recognize that healthy communities and a healthy environment are critical to individual health and wellness."

"Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to improving the health of people living and working in the communities we serve and one way we accomplish this is through our partnerships with community clinics such as La Maestra," said Mary Ann Barnes, senior vice president and executive director with Kaiser Permanente San Diego. "Such clinics provide complete health care for the uninsured and underserved, and the opportunity to have Kaiser Permanente recognized in the naming of the clinic's Family Medicine and Obstetrics/Gynecology Departments is a true honor and symbol of our partnership."

Zara Marselian, chief executive officer of La Maestra Community Health Centers, said she is grateful to Kaiser Permanente because throughout the years the company has provided core support funding not only for her organization, but other county community clinics. That help, she said, "goes to the care we provide to the uninsured."

"No longer must we believe that underserved neighborhoods are exempt from the highest standards of green architecture design and environmentally friendly programs," notes Marselian. "La Maestra and the City Heights community are proving that neighborhoods that care about their future and their environment can make a lasting difference for everyone."

Additional funders to the La Maestra building fund included: Anthem Blue Cross, through its "Investment in a Healthy California" program, provided bond financing that was insured by the Cal-Mortgage Loan Insurance Program of the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD). Other major financial contributors were Price Charities, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources (through U.S. Congresswoman Susan Davis), the Bank of America Foundation, The Parker Foundation, The Robert Wood Foundation, the San Diego Gas & Electric Sustainable Communities program, and The Tides Foundation.

About La Maestra Community Health Centers

Since 1990, La Maestra has been providing quality health care and community services to thousands of ethnically diverse clients in San Diego. La Maestra, the largest employer in City Heights, San Diego's most culturally diverse neighborhood, sees more than 65,000 patient visits per year with a staff of 162 doctors, nurses, counselors and social workers who speak 19 different languages and dialects. Clients of La Maestra can receive a full range of primary medical services for all ages. Additionally clients can receive dental, behavioral health, vision and geriatric care. Social services including job placement, eligibility, outreach, transportation, translation, housing assistance and a food pantry are also available. La Maestra currently provides services through a complex of 14 converted residential buildings on a single city block in City Heights. La Maestra also has clinics in National City, El Cajon and Hoover High School. For more information, please visit

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 3.3 million members in Southern California. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. For more information, go to:

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