Building on Success: Venice Family Clinic looking forward to expansion plans

February 1, 2024

By Lizbeth Sepulveda
Originally published in The Argonaut

Venice Family Clinic, a nonprofit community health center, is gearing up for further growth and service expansion in 2024, building on its accomplishments from 2023.

The organization is committed to providing and enhancing access to comprehensive, high-quality primary health care and services, while promoting community well-being for underserved populations stretching from the Santa Monica Mountains through the South Bay.

In 2023, Venice Family Clinic successfully extended its free healthy food distributions to locations in Inglewood, Carson and Gardena. The organization has several expansions planned for 2024, including launching a biweekly free food distribution program at its clinic site in Gardena at 742 W. Gardena Boulevard.

Dr. Mitesh Popat, CEO of Venice Family Clinic, expressed gratitude for the dedication of the staff, volunteers, partners and donors who contributed to the remarkable accomplishments of 2023.

“We have a long, 50-year affiliation with UCLA, so that means we get volunteers and teaching faculty coming to the clinic to train and to help care for our underserved population,” he said.

“We are committed to serving the community, not just in a comprehensive fashion, but also in a culturally sensitive and appropriate one.”

Last year, the clinic completed a multiyear major revitalization of its flagship location at 604 Rose Avenue in Venice.

The newly renovated facility is now called the Chuck Lorre Rose Avenue Health and Wellness Center. It is named after its largest contributor, the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation.

This renovation enhanced access to the pharmacy and other services. It also facilitated improved coordination of services, including a separate waiting room for pediatric patients, designated pediatric examination rooms, augmented staff spaces, including the addition of showers for individuals experiencing homelessness.

Another notable achievement at the end of 2023 was the partnership forged with The Midnight Mission to support families with young children experiencing homelessness in Inglewood.

A new Early Head Start center was established onsite for families at HomeLight Family Living, a program of The Midnight Mission. This marked the Clinic’s third Early Head Start center in the area.

“We have a robust early head start program that focuses on children 0 to 3 and their families and trying to get those children education and the parents support and education and job training,” Popat said.

Venice Family Clinic remains focused on its continued outreach. In 2023, the organization launched a same-day care program at its flagship site, facilitating access to medical care for acute conditions from on-site nurse practitioners. There are plans in motion to expand this program to a South Bay location in 2024.

In addition to its various services, the clinic provided comprehensive health care to over 45,000 people in need and extended its street medicine program outreach into the South Bay, offering care to those living in encampments in Gardena and at Bridge of Hope Community Housing in Hawthorne.

While many communities struggle with limited resources, Venice Family Clinic aims to extend its reach to those in need by optimizing its 2023 achievements in providing health care, health education, resource case management, substance use treatment, and behavioral health services at various clinic sites, and working toward further expansions anticipated throughout 2024.

As Venice Family Clinic enters the new year, it remains committed to providing comprehensive, accessible health care to communities that need support. The organization aims to continue its deliverance of high-quality services with dedication to the well-being of all, regardless of income, insurance, or immigration status.