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Community Service Programs

Sansum Clinic in the Community

Despite a global pandemic, Sansum Clinic continues to provide quality patient care and high standards for the communities we serve. We have a longstanding commitment to meet the needs of the low income, uninsured, and underinsured patients in our community through our Charity Care Program. We have a policy that provides guidelines for identifying patients who may qualify for assistance and also establishes the financial screening criteria with an objective of providing care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.

Due to the pandemic, we had to do things differently to ensure social distancing and to maximize the safety of our patients and staff. We offered a drive-up option and also offered patients the chance to receive a flu shot during medical appointments. The message to the community was the importance of getting a flu shot to offer protection against the flu alone, but also to lessen the chances of potentially-disastrous simultaneous COVID-19 and influenza infections. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread, resulting in better health and well-being for the residents of our community especially during the pandemic. This same concept was important with COVID-19 vaccinations.

Pandemic Relief Fund

Sansum Clinic is a nonprofit organization reliant on the generosity of the community we serve. At the start of the pandemic in 2020 many individuals and businesses asked how they could help. Their interest prompted the Clinic to establish the Pandemic Relief Fund. Montecito Bank & Trust generously provided the first gift of $50,000 and Direct Relief stepped up with a $500,000 gift. Over the last two years we have received major gifts of support from Dick Wolf, Jeff and Judy Henley, The Kemmerer Family Foundation, Mary Lynn and Warren Staley, Susie and Riley Bechtel, Dr. Nancy O’Reilly, Julie Nadel, Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, Anne Akiko Meyers and Jason Subotky, La Centra-Summerlin Foundation, Manitou Fund and Guenter Ahlers.

Throughout the pandemic continuous communication with our patients, alongside our ongoing email updates, generated many smaller gifts and we saw an increase in first-time gifts to the Clinic. This level of support reinforced to us that our patients believe in the work we do, and in the valuable role we played in providing healthcare to our community, every day, and even more so during a pandemic. 

Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics

Sansum Clinic is proud to partner with Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics (SBNC), providing them with free diagnostic services for their patients who have no health insurance. This type of partnership is rarely available to safety net providers elsewhere in the country.

SBNC is an independent, nonprofit healthcare organization. As a federally-qualified health center, SBNC is dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable, medical, dental, behavioral health, medication-assisted treatment and enabling services to those in need in Santa Barbara County, regardless of one’s ability to pay.

SBNC provides care to 1 in 10 people in the community and they’ve been serving the community for over 52 years. Over 22,000 patients are cared for at four medical clinics, two dental clinics, an integrated care clinic, a bridge clinic for substance use disorders and health promotion services with Wellness Navigators.

Since 2010 Sansum Clinic has provided 6,920 SBNC patients with 9,373 diagnostic services for free, totaling over $3.5 million. The cardiology diagnostic services include echocardiogram and cardiovascular device monitoring and other diagnostic services such as general and special radiology, MRI scans, CT scans, ultrasounds and mammograms.

Since reinstating the colonoscopy screening program in 2019, Sansum Clinic, in partnership with the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara, has screened 88 SBNC patients

SEE International

SEE International is a non-profit organization helping to end preventable blindness in the United States and across the globe.

Sansum Clinic partners with SEE International’s Santa Barbara Vision Care Program to provide eye care services, at no cost, to patients of SEE who have no health and/or vision insurance. Since the start of this partnership in 2019, Sansum Clinic’s ophthalmology physicians and medical staff have provided eye care to nearly 100 patients (729 services). Ninety percent of all visual impairment can be prevented or cured; adequate vision care can make a remarkable impact on a person’s well-being.

In 2014, SEE launched the annual Humanitarian of the Year Award to honor the outstanding dedication and achievement of volunteer ophthalmologists and partner organizations that are committed to ending preventable blindness. Sansum Clinic was honored to receive SEE International’s 2021 Humanitarian Award for the category of Community Partner. This is a great honor and we’re pleased to work alongside our partners at SEE International.

Doctors Without Walls/Santa Barbara Street Medicine

Doctors Without Walls – Santa Barbara Street Medicine (DWW) is making a meaningful impact on our local communities by delivering critical and sustainable medical and mental health services to the most vulnerable unsheltered and marginally sheltered individuals and families in Santa Barbara County. Our primary goal is to provide medical care to our community’s homeless population living on the street while still fighting the COVID-19 virus. DWW has vaccinated large numbers of the population it serves. We are encouraging and educating the unvaccinated clients we serve to become vaccinated.

DWW is partnered with multiple agencies to provide medical services through place-based clinics, evening street outreach and daytime outreach. DWW currently supports public health with follow-up medical visits with vulnerable clients living on the streets. DWW supports the Neighborhood Navigation Centers, which includes Behavioral Wellness and other agencies that serve the same population. More than ever DWW is needed on the streets of our community. As eviction moratoriums end and more people struggle to stay housed, DWW performs a much-needed service in providing immediate care for medical needs of the underserved and refers clients to the agencies they need to become housed and stay housed. Throughout the pandemic, DWW has played a vital role in leading efforts, alongside our local Governments, Non-Profits, Business Leaders and Educators to not only mitigate the spread of COVID-19 but to also deliver consistent reliable medical care to our community. DWW provides much needed insight into the population it has served for 14 Years.

DWW is able to fulfill their mission thanks to the partnership with Sansum Clinic. A number of Sansum physicians and staff members volunteer their time, which allows DWW to expand their reach within the community. Every year during the holidays Sansum Clinic sets up boxes in the facilities to collect socks for the DWW volunteers. Men’s white athletic socks are one of the most valuable pieces of clothing to people without permanent housing. Feet work overtime when there’s no warm home to return to each night, and a new pair of socks is greatly appreciated and welcomed by the homeless.

Sansum Clinic would like to acknowledge the following physicians and staff who graciously volunteer their time to Doctors Without Walls – Santa Barbara Street Medicine:  
  • Dree Daughterty, MD
  • Lauren Estess
  • Marie Claire Lamb, MD 
  • Alex Leasure, MD
  • Aaron Lewis
  • Lynn Matis, MFT (Retired)
  • Ashley McGrogan, PA
  • David Phreaner, MD
  • Laura Polito, MD
  • Berenice Ruvalcaba
  • Maria Tafoya
  • John Vallee, MD (Retired)
  • Hailey Yates

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