Grant to expand pediatric primary care for more than 2,500 Mission Youths

By Maureen McInaney on October 17, 2002

Valencia Health Services, a nurse practitioner-run clinic located in San Francisco’s Mission district, has received a $2, 091,007 grant from the United States Department of Health and Human Services to expand primary health care to a diverse population of underserved families and children.

The grant, which covers five years, will also expand nursing education for both pre-licensure and advanced practice nurses; fund neighborhood Head Start and public programs to increase access to services for children and families; fund expanded adolescent services targeting high-risk teens and young adults; and expand case management services by adding social workers and mental health specialists.

Valencia Health Services combines the talents of UCSF specialists in pediatric care, women’s health, and family care and San Francisco State University (SFSU) specialists in case management and public health. The clinic provides a range of services, including screening examinations; vision and hearing assessments; immunizations; and education about physical activity, obesity, nutrition, substance abuse (including tobacco), responsible sexual behavior, mental health, injury and violence, and environmental health.  As a neighborhood health center, the clinic also hosts education programs and links residents to other community services such as mammogram testing, prenatal care, and HIV services.

“Valencia Health Services has already become a vital resource to Mission district, Bayview and Hunter’s Point residents,” said Janice C. Humphreys, RN, PhD, PNP, UCSF associate professor of Family Healthcare Nursing. “This grant will help us provide even more pediatric primary care services and fulfill the equally important mission of training more nurses.” Pre-licensure and advanced practice nurses from UCSF and SFSU will complete part of their clinical training at Valencia Health Services.

“This grant expands opportunities for a range of health professionals to increase their knowledge of at-risk, underserved populations,” said Charlotte Ferretti, professor of nursing and director of the SFSU Marian Wright Edelman Institute for the Study of Children, Youth and Families.

The UCSF School of Nursing acquired the Valencia pediatric practice in 1993. In August 1999, Valencia Pediatrics became Valencia Health Services and moved to a renovated 3,400 square foot clinic. At the same time, a partnership with San Francisco State University School of Nursing began, combining resources of the SFSU Mission High School Health Clinic with Valencia Health Services.

Valencia Health Services currently serves 2,650 infants, children and adolescents (approximately 450 service visits a month). The clinic, located at 1647 Valencia Street (across from St. Luke’s Hospital) is an important resource in the Mission neighborhood, according to Humphreys, where a number of low-income residents have barriers to medical care because of cultural differences, language barriers, or poverty. About 46 percent of the clients are Latina, 4 percent Mexican American, 20 percent African American, 8 percent Pacific Islander or Filipino, and 7 percent Caucasian. Approximately 65 percent of the patients are covered by Medi-Cal. The majority of nurses and physician providers who work at Valencia Health Services speak Spanish and all support staff are bicultural and bilingual.