View below to read the update on Sacramento Native American Health Center’s expansion, which will increase their number of medical exam rooms to 17 and number of dental chairs to 13 — and also will include an optometry clinic. These changes will allow the health center to serve 18,000 to 20,000 patients, up from 8,000 now.

Native American health clinic in midtown begins $3.8M expansion

Demolition is done, construction on a $3.8 million expansion of the Sacramento Native American Health Center is underway — and most of the money to pay for it has been raised.

The expansion will more than double clinic space to 36,000 square feet. It will allow the center at 2020 J St. to serve up to 20,000 patients when it opens in mid-January. The nonprofit currently serves about 12,000.

A variety of loans, grants and donations from Native American tribes, providers, foundations and others have promised or paid almost $3.4 million to fund the project. About $330,000 remains to be raised.

A big loan of more than $2 million came from Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians. Other big funders include Capital Impact Partners ($750,000 loan), Anthem Blue Cross and River City Medical Group ($247,680 grant), Sutter Health ($150,000 donation) and Yocha Dehee Wintun Nation ($100,000 grant). Other support came from the Sierra Health Foundation, UC Davis School of Medicine, Newman’s Own Foundation and Indian Health Services.

“We are thrilled at the variety of funders that have stepped forward to fund our expansion,” health center CEO Britta Guerrero said.
The nonprofit used to serve mostly Native American patients, but growth of the Medi-Cal program brought in a more diverse clientele. Roughly 60 percent of the patients now served are non-Native American, Guerrero said. “We still maintain our identity as Native American, but are seeing everyone who needs care, in keeping with our cultural beliefs,” Guerrero said.

The health center “has served the underserved members of the greater Sacramento area for many years and has always been open to doing more for the populations they serve,” said Sean Atha, vice president of network and business development at River City Medical Group.

The expansion will increase the number of medical exam rooms to 17, the number of dental chairs to 13 and include an optometry clinic. Once work on the medical clinic is done, construction will begin on the expanded dental space.

Kathy Robertson covers health care, law and lobbying, labor, workplace issues and immigration for the Sacramento Business Journal.