Congresswoman Maxine Waters toured the Venice Family Clinic at Mar Vista Gardens in Del Rey August 13th as part of National Health Center Week, which recognizes the importance of community health centers for patients in need.

Participating centers throughout the Los Angeles area provided a variety of free health screenings and services to commemorate the week. The Venice Family Clinic offers free healthcare services to its 24,400 patients.

“The Mar Vista Gardens Clinic and the larger Venice Family Clinic system have been providing high-quality, no-cost healthcare to thousands of area residents for many years,” Waters said.

“These clinics are often the only access to healthcare that some of my constituents receive, particularly here in Mar Vista Gardens, and so I am happy to be here today to tour the clinic and see the important services available to those in need.”

The Venice Family Clinic Mar Vista Gardens site is located on the grounds of the Mar Vista Gardens housing development, which is considered the largest public housing development on the Westside of Los Angeles. After touring the clinic, Waters visited a new, larger Venice Family Clinic under construction just a few blocks away which will triple its capacity in the Mar Vista area. In addition to primary care, the new site will offer expanded mental health, dental and health education services.

Waters then presented a Certificate of Special Recognition to Venice Family Clinic’s Chief Executive Officer, Elizabeth Benson Forer, in recognition of National Health Center Week and Venice Family Clinic’s work providing free, quality healthcare to people in need from Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, Inglewood and Culver City.

“Since approximately 47 million Americans live each day without health insurance, there is a desperate need for access to affordable, quality healthcare in this country,” Waters said.

“I commend Ms. Benson Forer and the physicians, staff and volunteers of the Venice Family Clinic for doing what they can in this economic and healthcare environment to meet the needs of the patients that they serve. Their impact here on the Westside of Los Angeles and throughout the Metro area is one of vital importance and great worth.”

The Venice Family Clinic commemorated National Health Center Week with a special outreach event on Healthcare for the Homeless Day, Wednesday, August 12th. Nearly 4,000 of Venice Family Clinic’s 24,400 patients are homeless.