January 2009

The Year in Review:
Eight Accomplishments in 2008

Many Americans feel 2008 was a disappointing year on the health care front, but if you’re a patient or supporter of Venice Family Clinic, you should feel a bit more upbeat. Despite all the forces that could have compelled the Clinic to scale back, it succeeded in seeing more patients than ever before, providing more services than ever before, and improving the quality of its programs, all while laying the groundwork for more success in 2009 and beyond. Following are eight examples.

1. Provided Free, Quality Health Care to 9% More Patients
A 9% increase might not sound like a lot, but that translates to nearly 2,000 additional low-income and uninsured people who would have had nowhere else to turn for care, other than hospital emergency rooms. View the Clinic’s fact sheet here.

2. Reduced Wait Time for and at Pediatric AppointmentsKaren Lamp, MD (left), and Catherine Charouhas, NP.
The Clinic recently piloted a new operations model (known as "Advanced Access") with the goals of providing more same-day and next-day appointments and increasing continuity of care for pediatric patients at the Milken Family Foundation Medical Building in Venice. In the end, these patients needed fewer appointments, and this in turn created access for even more pediatric patients (6% more, in fact). Also, the average wait time for appointments decreased from three weeks in 2006 to just two days in 2008; the average time spent at appointments was reduced from two and a half hours to just over one; and no-shows dropped from 25% to 12%. The model is now being implemented at other pediatric sites and for adults.

3. Provided 28 Kinds of Specialty CareKaren Lamp, MD (left), and Catherine Charouhas, NP.
Through a network of volunteers and community partners, the Clinic provided 17 kinds of specialty care on-site and another 11 kinds through referrals. These included allergy, cardiology, dermatology, ear/nose/throat, electromyography and nerve conduction velocity, emergency, endocrinology, gastroenterology, genetics, infectious disease, nephrology, neurology, obstetrics/gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, plastic and reconstructive surgery, psychiatry, pulmonology, radiology, rheumatology, sports medicine, and surgery. Read the fall 2008 newsletter story here.

4. Won the LEAP Award for Helping Patients Get Relief from Chronic PainKaren Lamp, MD (left), and Catherine Charouhas, NP.
Since 2006, the chronic pain program at Venice Family Clinic’s Simms/Mann Health and Wellness Center has used acupuncture and chiropractic care, as well as counseling, to help patients manage pain from back injuries, migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other conditions. It has been so helpful in meeting health needs of the underserved that the California HealthCare Foundation recently recognized Venice Family Clinic with the 2008 LEAP Award. Read the press release here.

5. Expanded Hours at the OPCC Annenberg Access Center

When OPCC/Ocean Park Community Center built the new drop-in center for homeless men, women and children in Santa Monica, they constructed a medical suite for Venice Family Clinic. Thanks to additional funding from the Community Development Commission of Los Angeles County, the Clinic ramped up its operations at this new facility from one morning per week to five.

6. Served More than 300 Additional Homeless Patients
Venice Family Clinic reached 3,843 homeless people in fiscal year 2008* – an increase of 319 people, or 13%, from fiscal year 2007. Some walked into the Milken Family Foundation Medical Building and were seen same-day; others saw a physician while they were visiting the OPCC Annenberg Access Center; and hundreds of others were visited by the Clinic's outreach team, which hits the streets every Thursday morning with staff from OPCC. Read the Los Angeles Times story about street medicine here.

7. Created New Art Therapy Program
Karen Lamp, MD (left), and Catherine Charouhas, NP.
Some mental health patients have a hard time expressing their feelings verbally, so Venice Family Clinic recently began providing art therapy, which combines traditional talk therapy with creative arts, like drawing, painting, sculpture, and collage. Art therapy is especially effective for children and families who have low literacy and are from cultures with rich artistic traditions, who make up a large portion of the Clinic's patient population. Read the spring 2008 newsletter story here.

8. Increased Mental Health Visits by 13%
In part because of the addition of the full-time art therapist and another clinical social worker, Venice Family Clinic provided more than 1,000 additional mental health visits in fiscal year 2008.

Of course, these accomplishments were only possible because of the loyal and generous support of Venice Family Clinic's donors, volunteers and community partners.

Thank you.

* July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008


Support Venice Family Clinic on National Day of Service, Monday, January 19th, at James' Beach, Canal Club, and Danny's Venice Beach Bistro & Bar
To celebrate the National Day of Service, local Venice dining institutions, James' Beach, Canal Club, and Danny's Venice Beach Bistro & Bar will donate 10% of all proceeds on this day to Venice Family Clinic. Click here for more information.


Save this Date!
The 30th anniversary Venice Art Walk & Auctions arrives May 16 & 17, 2009.


Charity Navigator Four Star Charity


Donate Now
• Make a general donation.
Join Silver Circle and attend the Thank You Gala on February 23rd at the Beverly Wilshire
• Commemorate birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations with Tributes.


The Clinic Needs Volunteers!
Medical specialists, translators, events associates, and more
Ingrid Trejo at 310.664.7532.


In-Kind Donations Wish List
• Clothing for women, men, children, and babies
• Durable medical equipment, including wheelchairs
• Dietary supplements, such as Ensure and Boost
• Sorry, no medications, furniture, or automobiles
Monica McFerren at 310.664.7931


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Providing free, quality health care to people in need through eight sites in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista and Culver City
Venice Family Clinic 604 Rose Avenue, Venice, CA 90291, 310.664.7910, vfcinfo@mednet.ucla.edu