Holiday Fund will help Axis Community Health provide a safety net for our neighbors | December 14, 2012 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - December 14, 2012

Holiday Fund will help Axis Community Health provide a safety net for our neighbors

'No one is turned away, and the need is growing'

by Jerri Pantages Long

For 40 years, Axis Community Health has been the sole safety net for growing numbers of Tri-Valley residents, providing access to medical care for people who cannot get care in the traditional system for any number of reasons, such as lacking insurance (or having it lapse due to unexpected unemployment) or having a pre-existing condition that has made them ineligible.

"We're really committed to making quality, affordable healthcare available to everybody in the community," said CEO Director Sue Compton. "We're proud of the quality of care we provide, which exceeds every national indicator in terms of patient standards and outcomes.

"No one is turned away, and the need is growing: More than 300 new patients each month are coming to Axis for primary care. In the last year, Tri-Valley residents made over 115,000 visits to our five locations."

Compton noted that the rapid growth is due to three factors: the growing population in our area (a 22% increase in 10 years); the economic downturn that has left more local people in need of access to affordable, quality primary care; and changes in the healthcare delivery system.

Axis will be expanding its service by opening a new clinic in 2014 to double its capacity.

"Healthy communities matter to everyone," pointed out Compton. "Studies show that increased access to medical care significantly reduces the need for more costly types of medical treatment, such as hospital emergency services and in-patient care. In fact, access to care is a key element to stemming the rising costs of healthcare."

Currently Axis provides a "medical home" for over 12,000 people. Your "holiday angel" donation will help them continue to provide services, such as the following examples:

Tony, 56, first became connected with Axis when his mother became very ill.

"They saved my mom's life," he said, describing the six years that Axis medical staff treated her and referred her to specialists when needed. "We are so glad to have been able to have had those extra years with her."

For the past three years, Tony has turned to Axis for his own primary care, particularly with monitoring his high blood pressure and his thyroid condition.

"They've always been there for us, and their service has been excellent, " he said. "I can highly recommend them. They have always treated me kindly, and Dr. (Sepideh) Tafreshian in particular has been real helpful to me."

Monica, 46, feels very lucky that she went to Axis for a check-up five months ago. The doctor discovered that she had breast cancer, but it was in the early stage so that Monica is recovering from what could have been a fatal disease.

"They treat me very well, like they do everybody," she said of Axis Community Health.

One of the clerical staff members, Kelly, was able to help Monica apply for Medi-Cal health coverage for which she was eligible. Axis staff members referred her to other doctors as needed for her treatment at Highland Hospital.

"If you don't know what to do, or where to go, the people at Axis are very helpful -- especially if you don't have health insurance," said Monica.

She is grateful that many of the staff members speak Spanish.

The experiences of Axis patients Tony and Monica exemplify the kinds of services provided in a typical day at the main Axis clinic at 4361 Railroad Ave. here in Pleasanton. Community members of all ages, children through seniors, receive quality care from a dedicated medical team.

A nonprofit organization, Axis Community Health was founded in 1972 to help children of low-income families with no other access to health care. Adult health services and WIC (Women, Infants and Children) nutrition programs were added the following decade. By 1996, drug and alcohol recovery services were added, along with mental health counseling.

For further information about Axis Community Health Services, call 462-1755 or visit