The Venice Family Clinic has officially marked the opening of its newest free clinic in Mar Vista offering primary care, dental care and other services.

Clinic officials, donors, elected officials and members of the Mar Vista community gathered July 6 to formally dedicate the Irma Colen Health Center, which first opened March 1.

The 3,400-square foot center, which is located at the northeast corner of Inglewood Boulevard and Braddock Drive, is a short drive or even walking distance for most Mar Vista residents. Its seven exam rooms and one counseling room will accommodate 15,000 visits from 4,000 patients annually, tripling Venice Family Clinic’s capacity in the area, clinic officials noted. Partner agencies providing additional family services are located nearby.

“People need care in the neighborhoods where they live,” says Elizabeth Benson Forer, Venice Family Clinic’s CEO. “Situating a clinic here saves time and transportation costs for families who have the least of these to spare, and it strengthens the community.”

Services provided at the Irma Colen Health Center include primary care, dental care, mental health services, and public health insurance enrollment, emphasizing the needs of women and children. In addition, a new three-year pilot project, funded by OneWest Foundation and UCLA Health System, will enable select uninsured patients of the center to access specialty care and hospitalization at the UCLA Health System, according to the clinic.

The new health center is named in honor of longtime Venice Family Clinic supporter Irma Colen, who passed away in 2006. Colen, in partnership with her husband, Lou, raised approximately $30 million to further Venice Family Clinic’s mission of providing free, quality health care to people in need. Lou Colen’s $1 million donation made the new site possible.

Venice Family Clinic, the largest free clinic in the country, serves over 24,400 low-income and uninsured patients annually. More than a third live in Mar Vista or surrounding neighborhoods in Palms and Culver City.

The clinic operates eight sites in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista and Culver City.

Information about appointments, (310) 392-8636.

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