Health

Friday, Oct 25 2013 04:26 PM

Health roundup: Shafter clinic to open; CBCC offering some free mammograms

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Nancy Banuelos, left, director of nursing at the Omni Family Health clinic in Shafter and Araceli Graciliano, senior MA, right, stand in the renovated area that will open for the public on Oct. 31.

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Omni Family Health in Shafter will open an additional section for acute medical needs on Oct. 31 inside this building that was recently upgraded.

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By The Bakersfield Californian

SHAFTER -- The three almost-empty rooms don't look like much now, but in the trio's first year, Omni Family Health plans to treat 1,900 more patients there.

The rooms at the nonprofit's Shafter medical and dental clinic are being repurposed for a walk-in clinic. The wing previous housed the clinic's behavioral health services.

The walk-in clinic is the latest addition to Omni, which provides myriad health services to underserved residents at 17 sites across Kern County. A $3.5 million award from Kern Health Systems paid for the improvements in Shafter, as well as a new health center that opened on Panama Lane in Bakersfield earlier this year.

The Shafter clinic's customers are mostly agriculture workers. With more space, they and their families will hopefully be seen sooner when they come to the health center without an appointment, said Nancy Banuelos, Omni's director of nursing.

"With the Obamacare, we anticipate having more patients and we want to be up there. We want to be the provider of choice for many of these individuals that now will have a choice to seek health care," Banuelos said.

With new tile flooring down and supplies waiting to be unpacked, the exam rooms are scheduled to welcome patients sometime next month. The clinic will be primarily staffed by a physician assistant once it opens, Banuelos said.

 

The Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center will hold a breast cancer symposium Monday night and offer a limited number of free mammograms to low-income, uninsured or underinsured women later in the week.

Mammograms will be offered by appointment on Tuesday and Saturday, Nov. 2, at The Breast Center at CBCC, 6501 Truxtun Ave. To qualify for a free mammogram, women must live in Kern County, have low family income, and have no health insurance or insurance with a co-pay or deductible that they cannot afford.

Women must also be at least 40 years old, unless they have a primary care physician's referral or have symptoms that would call for a mammogram, such as a breast lump or change in the size or shape of a breast. Call 862-7136 to find out if you are eligible.

The breast cancer symposium featuring oncologists, breast surgeons, radiologists and breast reconstructive surgeons will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday at CBCC. RSVP to Millie McGuire at 862-7120.

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