Venice Family Clinic and South Bay Family Health Care recently completed their merger and will move forward as a single organization operating under the name of Venice Family Clinic. PHOTO Courtesy of Venice Family Clinic

Venice Family Clinic merges with South Bay Family Health Care

By Haley Beyer

Venice Family Clinic and South Bay Family Health Care recently completed their merger to operate under the name Venice Family Clinic.

Both organizations have a combined century of experience providing health care to Los Angeles County residents in need.

By working together, they can better meet the needs of the 45,000 patients they serve while simultaneously providing care to approximately 430,000 individuals whose needs go unmet.

From the Santa Monica Mountains to the South Bay, residents will have access to a one-stop health system that offers dental care, substance use treatment, mental health services, vision services, child development services, health education, prescription medications, domestic violence counseling, HIV services and health insurance enrollment.

“The need for more comprehensive health care and greater access to that care has never been clearer,” said Elizabeth Benson Forer, CEO of Venice Family Clinic.

“This merger comes during a global public health crisis of historic scale, and at a time when communities throughout LA are wrestling with the consequences of inequities in access to health care and in the delivery of that care.

“Venice Family Clinic and South Bay Family Health Care have been longtime allies in the fight to overcome health care disparities and, together as one organization, we will continue to provide access to high-quality health care for people in need, build health equity and deliver better outcomes for our parties and the communities we serve.”

The two organizations have worked together for a while and share the same mission and goals.

Coming together allows them to expand high-quality health care to everyone who needs it regardless of status. Within the merger, The Power of Us was born. The initiative calls on the community to join Venice Family Clinic in fundraising and to prove how powerful a collective support can truly be in advancing a greater health equity in the larger community.

Naveena Ponnusamy, chief development and communications officer at Venice Family Clinic, focuses most of her time on nonprofit development and communications.

She previously worked with research organizations, so she understands the significance of building resources to solve big problems, like The Power of Us

“It was a natural coming together and will bring the best of both organizations together,” Ponnusamy said.

The initiative will focus on six key components: achieve health equity, build mental health access, control pandemics and epidemics, defeat homelessness, end hunger, and fight for children.

“These are some of the greatest challenges our society faces,” Ponnusamy said. “They’re all connected, and one cannot be solved without solving them all.”

Venice Family Clinic wants to ensure that none of the six solution areas take a back seat to COVID-19.

They don’t want to let the pandemic take the attention away from ongoing struggles.

“If anything, we are focusing on these things more than ever before because the pandemic exposed what was already there and made it more noticeable,” Ponnusamy said.

The Power of Us will focus on integrated care. There are a lot of ways to approach health care and Venice Family Clinic doesn’t want patients to just come into the center for a doctor’s visit.

They want to offer resources and direct help with each individual’s specific issue.

The biggest problem the initiative faces is getting the word out and encouraging others to spread the word. Venice Family Clinic must meet its fundraising goals and engage people who are passionate about creating programs and resources in conversations about finding long-term solutions.

The clinic encourages the public to get involved by donating, voicing their support for volunteering their time at food distribution centers.

For more information, visit the Venice Family Clinic website and watch each of the videos that represents the six components of the initiative.

The health equity video focuses on ensuring that everyone has access to care regardless of their income, insurance or immigration status.

Addressing mental and physical health, the mental health video supports patients through in-person visits as well as telehealth, and specifically addressing the trauma caused by the pandemic.

The video on pandemics and epidemics will continue the protection against COVID-19, other pandemics that arise and epidemics by providing vaccines and other treatments.

Homelessness will be addressed by treating it as the health crisis it is and ensuring the unhoused community receive care in clinic and on the streets through the innovative street medicine program.

The hunger video explains how Venice Family Clinic will supply nutritious foods and continue to maintain the healthy habits.

The organization will fight for children in the area by investing in their development and well-being, and setting them up for a stable future. The organization plans to solve the biggest challenges of the country, in their community.

“It takes all of us, there is a lot of opportunity when people come together with expertise and ideas of innovation,” Ponnusamy said.

Venice Family Clinic