Our mission has always been to serve and provide care to the underserved
Many Chicanx/Latinx communities, especially rural communities, throughout California remain underserved. A large portion of these hardworking people are under-educated, underemployed, and are subjected to the problems of unmanaged chronic disease, malnutrition, poor housing, and discrimination. Under these prevailing conditions health care is often perceived as a luxury, and therefore “preventative care” is seldom practiced. Furthermore, an uneven distribution of physicians often renders healthcare inaccessible to the Chicanx/Latinx patient; and moreover, language and cultural barriers tend to decrease the effectiveness of medicine under the established system.
One Health Center aims to provide the future of healthcare in Knights Landing
As future health care professionals we must all be aware of the inadequacies in our current healthcare system, especially as it affects the rural communities, in this country. We, as future health care professionals willing to give back to underserved communities, are challenged with improving the access to quality healthcare. Our responsibility lies not with “fitting into” and thus perpetuating today’s system, but with revolutionizing tomorrow’s system as we attempt to address the immediate needs of our communities. Taking these underlying problems into consideration, a group of Chicanx/Latinx medical students and undergraduates from UC Davis began organizing a student-run free clinic that addressed the needs of the underserved community of Sacramento in 1974. With support from the Hispanic community and the Department of Family Practice at UC Davis, the project transformed into Clínica Tepatí.
We were approached with a large task, and from that Knights Landing One Health Center was born to help the community thrive
In early 2011, Clínica Tepatí was approached by UC Davis assistant professor of Chicanx studies, Natalia Deeb-Sossa, medical students, and undergraduate students. Clínica Tepatí was asked to consider opening a much needed satellite clinic in the rural town of Knights Landing, California. After several months of discussions, Clínica Tepatí’s board agreed to open a satellite clinic with the following provisions: that the new satellite clinic recruit a separate group of undergraduate students, that undergraduate students require a minimum 3.0 GPA to volunteer, that medical students not have administrative responsibilities, but to primarily focus on patient care, and that the satellite clinic be financially independent from Clínica Tepatí. These provisions were incorporated in the planning of the clinic. In addition, the volunteer base was set to consist not only of physicians and medical & undergraduate students as in Clínica Tepatí, but also of graduate students and nurses.