Expect to see some new signage at a familiar location come March 4.
La Clínica del Cariño Family Health Care Center Inc., a nonprofit community and migrant health center with clinics in Hood River and The Dalles, is changing its name to One Community Health.
Keeping a tie to its cross-cultural mission, the official name will include the bilingual tagline: “Family Medical and Dental Care” – “Cuidado Médico y Dental para Familias.”
“We feel that our new name better represents our commitment to the entire Gorge community,” stated Tina Castañares, M.D., board member and one of the first physicians to serve at the former La Clínica.
“We care for a very diverse patient population: patients come from four counties (Hood River, Wasco, Klickitat and Skamania), speak several languages and have various socioeconomic backgrounds, yet ultimately form the ‘One Community’ of the Gorge whom we exist to serve,” said Castañares. “Our new name is a reflection of this.”
In conjunction with the name change, the organization is also opening a brand-new, modern building in The Dalles, thanks to a $5.86 million capital improvement grant from the federal Health Resources Services Administration.
The new building will be open for business in early April, with the public invited to a grand opening and community open house several weeks later. The new building is located at the intersection of West 10th and Webber streets.
La Clínica del Cariño was originally founded in 1986 to provide health care to the Gorge migrant farm worker population. However, according to Castañares, within the first two years it became clear that many other people living in the community needed better access to high-quality, affordable health care. La Clínica quickly expanded to serve the entire Gorge community.
“Beyond serving our community’s primary care needs, we are also committed to tackling some of the most chronic and costly medical and dental issues facing our community with our innovative health education programs,” states the One Community Health press release.
The organization currently serves approximately 10,500 active medical patients, and approximately 5,000 active dental patients. About half of patients identify themselves as White and about half identify as Latino.
“The decision to change our name came from community research we conducted in the fall of 2012,” stated Associate CEO Elizabeth Aughney.
“We learned that, despite efforts for over 25 years to prevent such misconceptions, many members of the native English-speaking community still assumed, due to the Spanish name, that the organization only served Latinos,” she said.
“Research also showed that many in the Latino community are comfortable patronizing businesses with English names as long as they know staff speak Spanish — as nearly all our frontline staff do.”
One Community Health is also developing a new website that will be ready in early April and may be found at www.onecommunityhealth.org.
About One Community Health
One Community Health advocates that all people deserve access to high-quality medical and dental care. According to the organization, that care is being provided by experienced, bilingual doctors, dentists and staff who have spent more than 25 years offering a complete and affordable primary care home. Adults and children can receive a wide range of medical and dental services in two clinics: one in Hood River, and the newest clinic, in The Dalles.
Bilingual and bicultural health promoters reach vulnerable and uninsured adults and children to access the care they need.