Our Story: One Community Health

History of One Community Health, first known as La Clínica del Cariño 93570002

Our Beginning: La Clínica del Cariño – a Migrant Health Center In the late 1970s, farmers and child advocates in the Columbia Gorge founded the Migrant and Indian Coalition (now called the Oregon Child Development Coalition) to provide much-needed daycare for preschool children. By the early 1980s, the same group recognized that farmworkers and their families often had trouble accessing medical care. In response to this need, a new nonprofit migrant health center – La Clínica del Cariño, (“The Caring Clinic”) – opened its doors in Hood River, Ore., in 1986. Thanks to a federal grant, La Clínica began providing farmworkers and others with medical care in a small, rented office on Rand and May Streets. Manuel de Anda Gutierrez chaired La Clínica’s first board of directors, and Colin Wood was the organization’s first executive director. Both were exceptional leaders who carried La Clínica into a period of rapid change and growth. By 1988, our doctors were delivering almost half of all the babies born in Hood River County. Nearly 50% of the patients who came through the door weren’t farmworkers or Latinos, but they were other community members who also needed affordable health care. To help meet this need, the federal government provided a second grant and designated La Clínica more broadly as a community and migrant health center.

Permanent Facility Built and Dental Care Offered in Hood River La Clínica grew quickly and needed a new facility. In 1990, property was purchased on Pacific Avenue in Hood River, using a combination of grants, loans, donations, and payments for care. Our new, permanent two-story building opened there in 1991. la-clinica-signLa Clínica was a pioneer in using community health workers, formerly known as health promotors, to help patients get the health education and care they needed. In 1988, we began our first health promotion program – El Niño Sano (“The Healthy Child”). El Niño Sano demonstrated a huge unmet need for dental care for children and their families, and so we added a new dental facility to our Hood River facility in 1995.

Clinic in The Dalles Established Medical and dental care flourished at La Clínica.  Our various health promoter programs received national awards.  Although we had always provided services to people from Hood River and Wasco counties in Oregon and in Klickitat and Skamania counties in Washington, our only location was in Hood River.  We needed to expand, and in late 2004, special funding and planning allowed us to launch a new medical and dental center on 7th Street in The Dalles.

La Clínica Becomes “One Community Health” By 2013, La Clínica was providing care to approximately 10,000 medical patients and 5,000 dental patients each year. We had developed collaborations with many organizations and introduced behavioral health care, provided diabetes and maternity care coordination, and offered outreach and education programs, along with many more special services. That year, our Board of Directors renamed the organization “One Community Health” to better reflect the fact that we serve everyone in the community who needs access to affordable, high-quality health care. Despite the name change, farmworkers and their families continue to be a special focus of our mission and programs.

New, Permanent Building in The Dalles In April 2013, a brand new, “state of the art” One Community Health facility opened at the intersection of West 10th and Webber Streets in The Dalles.  It took years of hard work on the part of the board, staff, and partners to make this possible. The design of this modern building supports our improved approach to patient-centered health care, where teams of providers collaborate side-by-side both with the patients and behind the scenes.

One Community Health Today One Community Health will always remember our first name – La Clínica del Cariño, (“The Caring Clinic”) – with pride and affection.  We’re honored to continue to serve farmworkers and their families and, as a community health center, we are proud to continue our mission of advancing health and social justice for all members of our community. We thank the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for awarding us a once-in-a-lifetime $5.86 million capital improvement grant dedicated to the construction of the new facility in The Dalles.