SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KTVU) - In the days and weeks after the North Bay Fires, a San Francisco based nonprofit called Tipping Point raised nearly $34 million for fire relief.
The Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund was created to help organization hardest hit by the fires, including Santa Rosa Community Health. The medical organization received a $4.25 million grant from Tipping Point which helped ensure their patients could continue to receive care.
Santa Rosa Community Health purchased several portable structures called a “Clinic in a Can.” The small shipping containers have been converted into exam rooms. Each can is fully equipped with medical supplies, a computer, and exam chair.
Family Nurse Practitioner Debra Rawson typically see 20 patients a day in the portable exam rooms.
“When patients come sometimes they are a little taken aback by coming out to the cans,” Rawson said. “Once they come inside, they’re like, ‘Wow this is really great.’”
Santa Rosa Community Health installed the clinics in the parking lot of one of their 11 locations in January after their Vista Campus was destroyed last October. The facility sustained extreme water and fire damage and had to be torn down.
Construction is underway to rebuild the Vista Campus in the same location on Round Barn Circle in Santa Rosa. CEO of Santa Rosa Community Health Naomi Fuchs said construction on the 42,000 square foot facility is expected to be complete in August 2019. The Vista Campus was their largest primary care clinic that served more than 24,000 patients a year, the majority of which are the low income.
“Half of our patients got their medical care here and of course it was also half of our revenue,” Fuchs said. “We were closed for one day in that entire firestorm and we opened on Tuesday at all of the sites that were able to open with staff that was able to be there.”
Santa Rosa community health was able to rebuild, purchase the clinics in a can, and most importantly continue care in the community thanks to the $4.25 million grant from Tipping Point. The San Francisco based non-profit organization fights poverty in the Bay Area.
The Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund raised nearly $34 million after the organization hosted the “Band Together Bay Area” and “Band Together 2” benefit concerts.
Tipping Point Chief of Staff Karina Moreno said the money was distributed to 48 organizations in health, housing, employment, and social services.
“The reason we got involved was simple; People were suffering and we were in a position to help,” Moreno said. “This was a real community effort and it was a symbol of our community coming together for our neighbors in need.”
Fuchs called Tipping Point one of their heroes. She said the money has helped in other ways too and at their other campuses.
She noted there were 180 employees at the Vista Campus and all of them were able to keep their jobs and work at other locations.
Rawson said she is looking forward to moving back to Vista Campus next year when it is complete, but for now the clinics in a can will do just fine.
“I think we can do anything in here that we can do in the clinic,” she added.