Santa Clara County, Calif. August 30, 2023– Santa Clara Valley Healthcare (SCVH), the hospital system for the County of Santa Clara, hosted a ribbon cutting for its new, state-of-the-art Valley Health Center (VHC) Lundy primary care clinic. VHC Lundy will be the new home for the Tuberculosis Clinic & Refugee Health Assessment Program. The new facility comes at a critical time as Santa Clara County faces the third highest case rate for tuberculosis (TB) among California jurisdictions, while also welcoming the highest numbers of refugees in the state, according to County health officials. VHC Lundy is located at 1996 Lundy Avenue in East San José.
The only such clinic and program of its kind in the county, VHC Lundy provides expert evaluation and treatment of active TB disease and preventive therapy for latent TB infections (LTBI). The new clinic also delivers comprehensive health assessments and medical treatment specifically designed for refugees, asylees, humanitarian parolees, special immigrant visa holders and victims of human trafficking who seek treatment in the county.
VHC Lundy is a cutting-edge airborne isolation facility designed to prevent transmission of TB and other airborne diseases and will provide a safe and welcoming care environment for staff and patients in need of services and support.
“While the clinic will serve as a huge asset to the entire county, I want to express my profound gratitude for the decision to open this in an area that is home to one of the largest immigrant populations in the county,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Otto Lee. “Moreover, it is of utmost importance that the clinic upholds our principles of language, cultural humility and competence, reflecting the values that we hold dear in Santa Clara County.”
“The assessment program housed at the new site will now have its own space, a place that provides care and counseling for County families; folks who are often using the program as their first entry point into our healthcare system,” added County Supervisor Joe Simitian, Chair of the County Health and Hospital Committee. “We’re really working to provide a warm environment, a safe space, to help these families navigate our healthcare system.”
Federal law requires new refugee arrivals to be screened for communicable diseases, including viral hepatitis, parasitic infections and tuberculosis, as well as chronic health conditions. In addition to the screenings, the Refugee Health Assessment Program also provides the following:
- Primary care services;
- Referrals to specialty care services and urgent care as needed;
- Required immigration vaccinations; and
- Mental health assessments and referrals to counseling and mental health services for adult patients through a partnership with the Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI)/Center for Survivors of Torture (CST).
Tuberculosis is a highly contagious and potentially life-threatening disease, so without early screening, it could lead to delayed treatment and undiagnosed people spreading the disease unknowingly to the broader community,” said Dr. Phuong H. Nguyen, SCVH Chief Medical Officer. “Completing our screening and LTBI treatment is critical to preventing transmissions and protects the health of the entire community.
The new clinic is the only outpatient setting specializing in TB in the county, providing care to more than 60 percent of all active cases locally. The existing clinic treats up to 100 patients each day, on average. More than 50 percent of the clinic staff are certified interpreters in a second language, and many were also refugees themselves.
“We’ll now have a state-of-the-art facility that makes it easier for us to provide more consistent support and follow-up with our new patients, many of whom represent some of our most vulnerable populations,” said Sonia Menzies, Director of Ambulatory Community Health Services for Santa Clara Valley Healthcare.
The County has implemented an expanded LTBI testing as part of the standard patient Health Maintenance Plan in all VHC primary care clinic locations. This enables Primary Care Providers to identify and refer patients with LTBI for preventative treatment. Since August 2022, testing rates have more than doubled and referrals to the TB clinic have increased three times its usual monthly volume.
LTBI Services are now available in the following locations: VHC Downtown, VHC Gilroy, VHC San Jose, VHC Milpitas, and Vietnamese American Services Center (VASC) Clinic.