Holiday Spirit

Jessie Peng, a nurse practitioner at MayView Community Health Center in Mountain View, talks to Maria Gonzalez during an exam on Nov. 25. Photo by Sammy Dallal.

Posted November 29, 2019

MayView clinic expands to tackle growing need for health care services
Mountain View clinic helps people avoid the ER with affordable medical care

by Mark Noack

Health care can be an afterthought for the thousands of people who lack food, housing or security in Santa Clara County.

The pattern is well known to health officials: those struggling to make ends meet often ignore symptoms like a cough, a lump or a tingly arm until the situation becomes dire. That's what leads many people to end up in the emergency room with medical conditions that could have been easily treated if they were addressed much earlier.

Every day at the MayView clinic in Mountain View, a small health care team is focused on trying to reverse this trend by delivering preventative care before chronic health problems turn critical. This year, MayView has never been so well equipped to pursue its mission, but it also hasn't ever faced such big challenges, said Charlene Gliniecki, a registered nurse who serves as the clinic's human resources director. The small Mountain View clinic, located right above a AAA service center on El Camino Real, has an excellent management team, a devoted medical staff and a stable funding base, she said.

But its mission is also expanding, she said. Over the last year, the number of patient visits jumped by 37%, including large increases in those who are uninsured or underinsured. Of that patient base, more than one out of three lives in Mountain View.

As a matter of duty, MayView never turns away any patients, regardless of their ability to pay, and as a matter of principle, the clinic doesn't go after people for payment. To its core, MayView has a culture that stands in stark contrast to the profit-driven health care market.

"We feel it's important for people to give what they can," Gliniecki insisted. "But we never send collectors after people. We don't chase people down; that's just not what we do."

MayView is one of seven nonprofit organizations serving Mountain View residents that benefit from the Voice's annual Holiday Fund. Donations to the fund are divided equally among the nonprofits and are administered by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation at no cost, so 100 percent of contributions go to the recipients.

Medical practitioners describe MayView in 2019 as rebounding after some years of struggle. A couple of years ago, the clinic was overbooked and overwhelmed. A patient could easily be left waiting about three months for an appointment. The clinic was hemorrhaging staff as many doctors and nurses were being poached by larger hospitals that could pay more. For a period, a smaller MayView clinic in Sunnyvale closed down due to the staffing shortage.

The clinic learned some significant lessons from those lean years. To this day, the clinic still hires scribes to act as executive assistants for physicians, freeing up time for doctors to see more patients. MayView's CEO Ken Graham, the former CEO of El Camino Hospital, came out of retirement last year to help steer the clinic back on track, focusing its limited resources on attaining new certifications, updated records systems and improved staff organization. Morale has improved, grant funding has steadily increased and medical staff turnover has declined.

"It's been a 180 in the way the clinic is run. It's efficient but it still has that family feel of putting patients first," said Alexandra Horevitz, MayView's social worker.

Horevitz is spearheading the clinic's integrated behavioral health program, a new initiative made possible as part of a $1.7 million grant from El Camino Healthcare District earlier this year. Under that program, MayView staffers try to take into account psychological factors like stress, depression or substance abuse as they treat patients' medical conditions.

This presents a unique challenge, Horevitz said. Plenty of patients are living high-stress lives trying to afford to stay in this area. It's common to hear of patients working two or three jobs and living in overcrowded apartments. Often there's no easy remedy, especially when poverty is a factor, she said, but at the very least MayView can provide a place for isolated or depressed patients to unload their emotional baggage.

It is just one effort to meet the unique needs of its patient base. Just down the hallway, Ana Karen Marquez administers the clinic's whole person care program, which tries to take into account each patient's obstacles to getting care, such as transportation, income or psychological factors. In some cases, this involves calling up patients to give reminders to take their medication or attend an appointment. She describes her role as helping patients navigate their own health care.

"It's a missing piece," Marquez explained. "People have so much on their minds, and they're being bounced between so many specialists that they get lost in the process."

Make a donation
2021 Recipient Agency

Community Health Awareness Council
CHAC serves Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and seven school districts. Among the services it offers are schoolbased counseling and programs to protect students from high-risk behaviors.

Community School of Music & Arts
The Community School of Music and Arts provides hands-on art and music education in the classrooms of the Mountain View Whisman School District.

Community Services Agency
CSA is the community's safety-net providing critical support services for low-income individuals and families, the homeless and seniors in northern Santa Clara County, including Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Day Worker Center of Mountain View
The Day Worker Center of Mountain View provides a secure place for workers and employers to negotiate wages and work conditions. It serves workers with job placements, English lessons, job skills workshops and guidance.

Mayview Community Health Center
The MayView Community Health Center in Mountain View offers primary care services to low-income and uninsured patients in northern Santa Clara County. No patient is turned away for inability to pay for services, which include prenatal and pediatric care, cancer screenings and chronic disease management.

Mentor Tutor Connection
Mentor Tutor Connection matches adult volunteers who serve either as mentors with under-served youth in high school or as tutors to students in elementary and middle schools in Mountain View and Los Altos school districts.

YWCA of Silicon Valley
This group operates a 24-hour bilingual hotline and a safe shelter for women and their children. It also offers counseling and other services for families dealing with domestic violence.

As of January 26, 2020
138 donors have contributed $79,760 to
the Mountain View Voice Holiday Fund.
* indicates amount withheld

19 Anonymous6,645
Anne Johnston150
Ellen Wheeler50
Kathleen Cutler*
Bruce Karney500
Edward Perry200
Kathleen & Sergey Bonte150
Tom & Barbara Lustig*
Thomas J. Mucha350
Michael A. Tugendreich200
Robert Rohrbacher*
Margaret Chapman100
Heather Cowper100
Patricia Larenas500
Sally B. Evans500
Ed Taub108
Jeanne Elam200
Linda Catura1,000
Marilyn Gildea100
Herbert Perry100
Herta Schreiner100
Diana Hall50
Daniel Kelly1,000
Emma Wong500
Leslie C. & Anita N. Nichols*
Catherine Howard150
Melissa Jankowski150
Jill Bertrand300
Lori Abrahamsohn50
Jeff Segall & Helen He200
Kevin & Robin Duggan*
Norma Jean Bodey Galiher200
Jim & Alice Cochran700
Lyle & Sally Sechrest100
Brian & Marilyn Smith*
Susan Elliott Russell1,000
Wesley D. Smith*
Andy & Liz Coe100
Crystal Chow200
Paul & Sarah Donahue2,000
Erik & Ankita Kaulberg*
Elizabeth Swierk200
John Baya & Rose Han250
Kathleen Creger500
Kristina Sandoval100
Gary & Yuko Kushner*
Josh Switkes & Meg Kelly1,000
Kevin & Laurel Smith1,000
Judy Atterholt & Chris Petti100
Randa Mulford250
Lora Henderson50
Vivi Naumovski100
Samantha Knox100
Feng Zhou8,000
R. Lanier Anderson &
Katherine A. Preston500
Robert & Lois Adams500
E. Denley Rafferty100
Gail Nyhan & Dave Offen*
David Fung*
Sarah Campbell100
Janet Jarmann30
Ross Heitkamp350
R D Roode150
Kanan Krishnan250
Ellis Berns100
Janet Sloan & Peter Stahl2,000
Donna Davies800
Dianne Chambliss700
Karen Skold100
John Igoe100
Patricia Hayes100
Leona K. Chu*
Pamela Baird1,000
Julie Steury & Peter Reynolds500
Sherleen Ong500
Scott Haber50
Sheri Morrison*
Laura Blakely100
Jon Burns250
Marilyn & James Kelly100
Cliff & Kara Chambers1,000
The Burtin Family*
Jeral Poskey250
Christopher Chiang*
Michael Kahan150
David & Karen Keefer200
Randy Robinson200
Karen DeMello100
Joel Riciputi*
Ann Kapoun200
J Steury500
K. Hayes Family2,000
Sara Jenez*
Bruce Lin1,337
Steve Attinger500
Yiping Liao150
Ronald Nakao50
Max Beckman-Harned700
Diane Nanis50
Sanna Wager500
Elisabeth Seaman750
In Memory Of

Mack & Laila Holombo400
Ken & Arlene Christie100
Jim & Sally Haydn-Myer200
Ernesto Alejandro*
Judith Manton50
Eva D Chang200
Michael Van De Vanter50
Mark Flider*
Jennifer Murray50
Christopher & Mary Dateo500
Dr. Sofia Laskowski200
In Honor Of

Jane & Gerald King500
Tyler Beatie50
Ed, Petros & Thalia185
As a Gift For

Glen & Linda Eckols200
Businesses & Organizations

Hewlett Foundation8,750
Packard Foundation8,000
Wealth Architects2,500

Changes or corrections to listings may be made by contacting Kali Shiloh at [email protected]