Boyle Heights clinic provides medical, dental care to community regardless of ability to pay

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A local hospital now offers an extensive medical and dental clinic that will provide care for everyone in East Los Angeles - regardless of their ability to pay.

This low-cost clinic is making a big impact in its community.

Andrea Savarino feels like she's always at the doctor's office with her young children. But the Boyle heights mom is thrilled with their new medical home.

"We can just automatically come here and see a doctor, which is convenient," she said.

The newly-launched White Memorial Community Health Center fills a huge need in East L.A., where many people get their primary care services in packed emergency rooms.

"As a licensed nonprofit community clinic, we cannot refuse care. We have a sliding scale for people who don't have insurance or who don't have Medi-Cal," said Carl Coan, chief executive officer.

He said the goal is to give families more than just affordable care: they want to give high quality care combined with other medical services, which are key to managing complicated conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and childhood obesity.

"We want to be the place where patients come to take care of all of their health care needs, or at least have their healthcare organized through us," Dr. Grace Floutsis said.

To be a true medical home, the White Memorial Community Health Center also offers access to affordable dental care.

The clinic has six chairs available, complete with state-of-the-art equipment.

"We have 5-years-olds who come in already with caries and decay, and we say go downstairs and see Dr. Han and we'll take care of you today," Floutsis said.

Patients like Savarino are concerned about what's next for the Affordable Care Act. She said she doesn't know what she would do without it.

For families like hers, the clinic is a safety net.
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