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Letter: Why Celebrate New West County Health Center

Contra Costa County's Health Services Director, Dr. William Walker, describes the benefits of the new West County Health Center, opening Tuesday. His letter follows one from a reader who raised concerns about the new facility.

To the Editor:

Like many local community members, we are excited about the new West County Health Center, which opens to patients on October 9th.

The new state-of-the art facility in San Pablo will replace the aging Richmond Health Center, which no longer met the needs of our staff and patients. The West County Health Center is significantly larger than the Richmond Health Center and will be able to serve more patients.  

The Health Services Department has worked for many years to relocate and rebuild the Richmond Health Center. We spent many years listening to the community and finding a site that is convenient to the vast majority of our patients.  We were fortunate to secure a central location in San Pablo, which, thanks to its proximity to Doctors Medical Center and Lifelong Brookside Community Health Center, will create a medical hub for the region. 

We believe the move to the site in San Pablo will increase access to important services for local residents.  The West County Health Center is convenient to patients who live in Richmond and San Pablo.  It is located on a major AC Transit bus line (Route 72), has more than 300 parking spaces and is near I-80.

One thing that won’t change is the excellent care our patients receive. We will continue to offer the high-quality services we provided at the Richmond Health Center – such as primary and specialty care, and well-baby visits – at the new West County Health Center. 

Next year we will be increasing evening and weekend hours and expanding same-day medical care. The enhanced same-day care services are being made possible by a generous $1 million contribution from John Muir Health. 

Even though we will be in a new facility, our mission will remain the same: To improve the health of all our residents, especially the most vulnerable members of our community.  

– Dr. William Walker
   Contra Costa Health Services Director

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El Cerrito Patch welcomes Letters to the Editor of up to 450 words from readers. Send them to elcerrito@patch.com. You can see past Letters to the Editor here.

George October 10, 2012 at 06:15 PM
Sorry to note that I do not see this as a "response" to the letter of concern: ".. there is no doubt that its costs of operation will increase to match its larger size. I am curious to find out how Contra Costa Health Services plans to deal with the increased costs of operating a facility with 58 exam rooms. " Will the grant from JMuir cover the next 20 years? thanks.

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