Mountain View Voice

Opinion - August 30, 2013

MayView fits nicely into new home

One of the city's longest-running health care providers changed addresses without a hitch last week in ceremonies to commemorate the MayView Community Health Center's new home at 900 Miramonte Ave. The Aug. 22 open house drew Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian and Mountain View Mayor John Inks, as well as council member Margaret Abe-Koga and numerous other dignitaries.

For years MayView was located in the county building on Moffett Boulevard, but when a decision was made two years ago to sell the building to make way for an apartment complex, MayView had to scramble to find a suitable replacement, no small feat since the county provided the space on Moffett rent-free. But with help from the city and a diligent effort by the clinic's CEO Shamima Hasan and her staff, the Miramonte location (on the second floor above the AAA offices) was found and will be just as convenient for its patients as its prior quarters.

MayView, already approved as an official health provider by the federal government, plans to play a key role in serving low income patients who are covered by the national health care act known as Obamacare, which will include many under-served clients in Mountain View. At its three locations, including Palo Alto and Sunnyvale, MayView serves nearly 7,000 patients a year, who visit the clinics just over 17,000 times annually. The ethnic makeup of the clinic's clients is 58 percent Hispanic, 23 percent Caucasian, 10 percent Pacific Islander, 2 percent African American and 7 percent of mixed race. More than half are ages 18 to 64 and by far the majority are women, 64 percent to 36 percent men.

What is most impressive about MayView is its intake office where people with or without coverage who are unaccustomed to dealing with the healthcare bureaucracy are counseled to find programs that might help with funding. But the relationship is not adversarial and whether or not a funding source is found among the many MayView partners for a new patient, he or she is welcomed into the system and receives the care needed.

Hasan told the Voice that despite the Silicon Valley tech boom, "A lot of low-income people live in Mountain View. We are the only community clinic in Mountain View providing the comprehensive services" that our clients need, she said.

The clinic also provides care to many clients who might otherwise visit emergency rooms for simple issues like fever, a broken wrist or for diabetes testing and counseling. "The emergency room is not for when you have a temperature. We look after people. We provide them with health care and maintain their medical conditions," Hasan said.

Her thoughts were echoed by Supervisor Simitian in comments to the Voice. He said that while much of his district is wealthy, people often forget that there are a lot of people trying to make ends meet every day. "Without MayView, there are a lot of services that people in the community wouldn't have access to," he said.

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