In 1974, a small group of dedicated community leaders and health care providers came together and started the Women’s Health Care Project as part of a larger social justice movement in Santa Monica, California. They helped women learn more about their bodies and their health, shared experiences and empowered them through knowledge. What is now Westside Family Health Center expanded to include prenatal care, pediatric services, adolescent health care and a family practice program that includes a strong healthy aging component.
As a natural development of our reproductive health services, the Prenatal Clinic opened in 1990. In 1992, the Pediatric Program was established in response to alarming statistics on the growing number of uninsured children living in our community. With the rise of teen pregnancies and health issues related to young women and men, WFHC began an Adolescent Health Service program in 1994 to raise awareness and meet the particular needs of teens. In 1999 the Family Practice program was launched to provide care for general medical problems not covered by our other programs.
In 2007 we became a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), renewed in 2010. And in 2011, we launched She-MMU, our 36-foot mobile medical unit that expands our community outreach to the underserved even farther by building on relationships with community partners.
In 2013 we implemented electronic health records and later that year we were recognized as a Patient-Centered Medical Home.
In 2014 we turned 40! WFHC also implemented a patient portal system and later that year the entire WFHC team was trained in Motivational Interviewing Technique (MIT), a form of collaborative conversation between care team and patient meant to strengthen a patient's own motivation to change.
In 2014 we were named a Health Center Quality Leader by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services for being among the top 30 percent of all U.S. health centers that achieved the best clinical outcomes, demonstrating our ability to focus on quality in all aspects of the clinical experience, a feat repeated in 2015. WFHC also received a National Quality Leaders from HHS--given to just 61 health centers nationally--for meeting or exceeding national clinical quality benchmarks.
Since 1974 we have been an integral part of the Westside community, serving low-income men, women, children, and the uninsured population at our bricks and mortar site and at our mobile medical unit. Last year we saw 10,532 patients in 27,951 visits.
Check out our video and see what makes Westside Family Health Center so special.