Santa Cruz Community Health Centers raises $200K to  achieve challenge grant match to support pediatrics

November 3, 2018 — Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz Community Health Centers (SCCHC), a leading nonprofit provider of high-quality, affordable and comprehensive health services to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay, today announced it has raised the funds to match a $100,000 challenge grant created in memory of Cecilia Rose Bien from her parents, Frank and Lorraine Bien. 

The $200,000 in donations will support the Center’s growing Pediatric Center of Excellence, serving low-income children of Santa Cruz County. A total of 75 of gifts ranging from $10 to $25,000 was raised in five months.

Frank Bien, CEO of Santa Cruz-based tech company Looker, established the challenge grant in May. Cecilia became a patient at SCCHC when her primary care pediatrician, Salem Magarian, MD, transitioned his entire clinic to the East Cliff Family Health Center in Live Oak in 2014.

At the onset of the challenge grant campaign, Bien said, “Santa Cruz Community Health Centers was instrumental in coordinating care across the health care system for Cecilia, and I’m excited to support their ongoing efforts to improve the lives of children in our community. SCCHC’s vision for an all-encompassing system of pediatric care for low-income children will ensure all kids have a healthy start to life and reach their full potential, building a stronger community for all of us.” 

 The Pediatric Center of Excellence is part of a comprehensive system of care to improve the lives of the more than 4,000 children served by SCCHC. Currently, 95 percent of the families served live at or below the poverty level and more than 180 of the children served are homeless.

 Consisting of three phases, development of a Pediatric Center of Excellence is entering Phase 2, which will increase services for at-risk children. Going forward, plans call for additional integration of specialty care, implementation of evidence-based models for children age birth-to-3, and greater attention on social factors like housing and food insecurity. The SCCHC is also innovating new ways to work with the Live Oak School District to serve shared students and patients.

“We’re so thankful for the combinedgenerosity of our community and the Bien family, which ensures we can serve thousands of beautiful kids as they grow,”said Leslie Conner, executive director of SCCHC. “These funds are an investment in our Pediatric Center of Excellence, so that all children, regardless of income or any other circumstance, have access to the care they need to reach their full potential.”
 SCCHC is dedicated to creating a comprehensive system of care based on the pediatric “health home,” which in turn is embedded within a “health neighborhood.” The network consists of a care team including parents, pediatrician, nurse, social worker, case manager and support staff, as well as coordination with school, family and other community organizations, to improve outcomes for each child.