California's community clinics need help

One out of every six Californians receives care at a community clinic in our state. Community clincs often also provide dental, mental health, and other essential care, and they provide culturally-specific care to the diverse communities of our state. Clinics are a critical part of our healthcare safety net and without them, millions of Californians would have no access to basic and critical care.

Our community clinics have fallen into a crisis driven by long-term, systemic underfunding. This has led to understaffing, low pay, and sub-standard benefits for the essential workers keeping clinics running—all of which impacts timely access to care for our patients. California has made progress, but without improvements to our state’s safety net care we can’t fully deliver on the promise of providing access to healthcare for our vulnerable residents.

Most clinic staff are from the communities they serve. We love the work we do, but long hours, poor pay and benefits, and not having a collective voice in improving care has taken a toll that has led to high turnover. Now with the physical exhaustion and trauma of working during the pandemic we are seeing workers leaving clinic jobs for better opportunities. COVID-19 has shined a light on the dramatic health disparities for low income, immigrant, and Black and Brown Californians—communities hit hardest by the pandemic.