Facilities are part of a $7 million investment by Anthem Blue Cross that will also include a new skilled nursing facility in Porterville
By Reggie Ellis
PORTERVILLE – Sierra View Medical Center is reaching outside the boundaries of Porterville to provide care to residents in rural communities.
Sierra View Local Healthcare District, the public entity which operates the 167-bed Porterville hospital, said it plans to construct two rural health clinics in Strathmore and Terra Bella. The rural health clinics are a first for Sierra View in the area of general medical clinics, although the hospital district does operate a Urology Clinic, Wound Healing Center, Physical Therapy office, Breastfeeding Resource Center, Ambulatory Surgery Center and the Roger S. Good Cancer Treatment Center.
Neither location will be the first clinic in either community. Family HealthCare Network already holds that distinction after opening a medical/dental clinic in Terra Bella through a partnership with the Terra Bella Union School District in 2014 and medical clinic in Strathmore in 2018.
Sierra View issued $30.5 million in revenue bonds last September to fund the construction of a the new facilities as well as certain hospital-related capital costs. Sierra View will also receive $7 million from Anthem Blue Cross to construct the two clinics as well as new 44-bed skilled nursing and sub-acute facility to replace an existing 35 bed facility. The funding is part of Anthem’s Investment in a Healthy California Program (IHCP) to assist rural and urban healthcare facilities across the state to secure capital for construction, renovation and sustainability projects that strengthen their ability to support vulnerable communities. Since 2005, California’s largest private insurer has invested more than $400 million in California, where it provides health care services to more than 8.2 million residents.
“Our IHCP investments are just one example, but an important one, of how Anthem Blue Cross supports the communities it serves by strengthening access to resources that drive better health outcomes,” said Dr. Barsam Kasravi, Anthem Blue Cross President, Medi-Cal. “Supports like these often have a greater impact on health outcomes than traditional care alone, and we are pleased to serve as partners in creating a healthier generation of Californians.”
The funding was announced on Feb. 24 as part of a $34 million investment for new construction, renovation and debt repayment projects across five California counties. Other recipients included:
- Kern Regional Center in Kern County ($2.6 million): Supports services provided to developmentally disabled residents.
- Los Angeles Jewish Home for the Aging in Los Angeles County ($5.7 million): Supports a variety of residential, clinical and community-based services for seniors at Fountainview at Eisenberg Village.
- Tahoe Forest Hospital District in Placer County ($3 million): Supports acute, outpatient and skilled nursing care to a population of 40,000 residents with a service area that covers 500 square miles.
- United Health Centers in San Joaquin County ($9 million): Supports construction of a new clinic in Reedley.
- Tarzana Treatment Center in Los Angeles County ($6.7 million): Supports expansion and renovation of several facilities that provide substance abuse, mental health, primary medical and HIV/AIDS healthcare services in ten locations across Los Angeles County.
IHCP was created in collaboration with the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) and the California Department of Insurance (DOI) to raise capital for healthcare providers serving low-income and underserved communities. Healthcare providers access funds in the form of low-interest loans for construction expansions, new facilities, equipment, renovations, updates, technology and refinancing of outstanding or high interest debt. Since the inception of IHCP, Anthem Blue Cross has provided funding for 38 different organizations, including 21 hospitals, four senior living facilities, four FQHC/rural health clinics, six social service providers and three mental health/substance abuse providers. Collectively, these organizations continue to serve millions of Californians across the state.