Behavioral Health Services, Inc. (BHS)'s soon-to-open BHS Family Health Center has been officially designated a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) by the Health Resources and Services Administration.
This award to serve as a New Access Point for low-income residents of Hawthorne, California and the surrounding area is one of 71 new medical clinics awarded in 2015 to serve an additional 454,728 new patients across the United States through the Affordable Care Act.
Michael Ballue, currently BHS' Chief Strategy Officer, will oversee the new program as Director of Family Health Services. Michael serves on the NCADD Board of Directors.
"This award is fantastic news for BHS, and in furtherance of our mission to provide fully integrated behavioral health and medical care to one of the most underserved regions within Los Angeles County," says Shirley Summers, President and Chief Executive Officer of BHS. "Having ready access to primary medical care within their own community is paramount to the continued success of our clients who come to us seeking substance abuse treatment and other social services."
The BHS Family Health Center is co-located with BHS' Pacifica House – a residential substance abuse treatment center which has been in operation in the area since 1975, located at 2501 West El Segundo Boulevard, Hawthorne, California 90250.
Community Health Centers have served as our nation's healthcare safety net for the past 47 years, providing comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary healthcare services to medically underserved communities and vulnerable populations. The Los Angeles area already has several FQHC's, but the demand for primary care services far exceeds current capacity, forcing many uninsured and low-income residents to flood emergency rooms for simple healthcare needs. The BHS Family Health Center will provide critical expansion of access to primary care for our county residents in the Hawthorne/South Bay area.
BHS' mission began simply – to provide critically important substance abuse treatment services in the Centinela Valley area of Los Angeles, opening our first outpatient substance abuse treatment clinic in the City of Inglewood in 1973.
Since that time it has expanded its services to 14 sites throughout the county, providing medical detoxification, residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment, mental health services, court ordered ancillary services, and alcohol and drug free transitional housing, serving over 350,000 clients since our inception. It has provided integrated behavioral health and medical care to clients through partnerships with other community based medical providers for the past 25 years, and now with the advent of the Affordable Care Act, coupled with the need to provide a more seamless integration of services for the clients and communities it serves – BHS thought it time to open its first medical clinic. It chose the Hawthorne area as it represents one of the most critically underserved areas in the county for primary medical care.
For further information on the BHS Family Health Center please contact:
Elaine Ruggiero, Clinic Manager
Behavioral Health Services Family Health Center
310-679-9126 Ext. 1234