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La Clínica de La Raza Inc. | P.O. Box 22210, Oakland, CA 94623-2210 | Tel: 510-535-4000 | FAX: 510-535-4189
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La Clínica Remembers Behavioral Health Clinician Leslie Preston
La Clínica Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Celebrates Her Wedding as a 'Friendraiser' for La Clínica
La Clínica and Partners Open Vision Clinic to Reduce Barriers to Education
New Oakley Site Expands Access to Behavioral Health Care in Contra Costa County

New Oakley Site Expands Access to Behavioral Health Care in Contra Costa County

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On April 24, La Clínica welcomed friends and community members to the Open House of its newest service site in Oakley. The new behavioral health site was named "Casa de Luz" in honor of late La Clínica Behavioral Health Clinician Leslie Preston.

The celebration included tours, ribbon cutting, and a tribute to Leslie Preston who expanded access to high quality behavioral health care for underserved communities. This opening brings our total number of service sites to 35 across Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano Counties.

La Clínica Oakley Specialty Behavioral Health Program was previously housed in Oakley Medical. Since opening in 2012, the program has provided services to over 1,000 youth and their families. The new site staffed by bilingual clinicians, provides specialized services and partners with community organizations to offer comprehensive support services to children and their families in Contra Costa County.

La Clínica's Casa de Luz is conveniently located across the existing Oakley Medical site and accessible via public transportation. This is La Clínica's first dedicated behavioral health site in Contra Costa County.

Among those in attendance were Mayor of Oakley Randy Pope; Oakley Chief of Police Chris Thorsen; Field Representative Charles Dulac for Assemblymember Jim Frazier; Vesper Society President Miyoko Oshimal; counselors from schools in the community; STAND! For Families Free of Violence; Family Justice Center; and other members of the community.

La Clínica Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Celebrates Her Wedding as a 'Friendraiser' for La Clínica

Many people traditionally create a wedding registry for their big day where invitees are able to choose gifts from the couple's wish-list.

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However, Shelly and Jim decided to do something different for their big day.

Shelly Federwisch is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at Transit Village Pediatrics in Oakland's Fruitvale district where she's worked for two years. Shelly and her fiancé Jim Cortez had been living together and they felt well-established in their homes, so in lieu of gifts, they decided to ask invited guests to support La Clínica for their wedding.

"La Clínica means a lot to both of us and we thought it would be a great opportunity to make it a part of a day that meant so much to us," Shelly said.

The couple decided to create a webpage where invitees could read about why they were supporting La Clínica and encouraged them to donate.

Through this celebration, Shelly and Jim have raised $5,237 and connected 39 new donors to support the couple's commitment to La Clínica's mission.

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"By sharing your passion with your friends and family, you can help them discover what a special place La Clínica is and help us help our community," she said

Shelly has always had a special relationship to the work and mission of La Clínica. She remembers that one of her projects in nursing school was to design a business card and brochure of her dream job. She dreamed of working for a community-based clinic that served as a medical home for low-income families.

"When I discovered La Clínica, I knew I was in the right place," she said.

Shelly says Jim is very proud of her work and they say La Clínica has become a part of their family. She adds that her colleagues share her passion for the organization and encourages you to talk about the important work of La Clínica and engage your circle of friends and family.

Shelly and Jim were married on April 7, 2018. Congratulations Shelly & Jim and thank you for sharing your passion for La Clínica's mission with your friends and family!

La Clínica Remembers Behavioral Health Clinician Leslie Preston

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that we deliver to you the heartbreaking news of the passing of our beloved colleague and friend, Leslie Preston. Leslie quietly passed after a long hard battle; she was a fighter up to the very end.

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Since 1999, Leslie worked tirelessly on behalf of La Clínica and our patients. She successfully oversaw efforts to expand and integrate behavioral health. She was at the helm of behavioral health and worked hard to ensure that La Clínica was able to provide high quality behavioral health care services. She often worked late into the night and it was not uncommon to receive an email from her at 1 o'clock in the morning. She was quick to smile and always ready to lend a helping hand to staff and colleagues inside and outside of La Clínica.

Leslie's dedication and commitment has been an integral part of La Clínica's success and growth for the last 19 years, developing our behavioral health department into what it is today. Leslie's leadership in Mental Health resulted in countless innovations and advancements for La Clínica's services. She worked tirelessly during her tenure here to ensure that La Clínica provided our most vulnerable patients with the highest-quality of care. Not only did Leslie devote herself to the needs of our clients, but was always the first to step up when staff were in need, which was clearly demonstrated with all of the attention, nurturing, and counselling that she provided during the La Clínica's hardest moments.

Her kind and caring nature along with her selfless dedication and devotion to serving those in need is exemplary and will not be forgotten. Leslie's passing leaves us with a heavy heart but her wonderful memory will live on forever through all of us. May she rest in peace.

La Clínica and Partners Open Vision Clinic to Reduce Barriers to Education

On April 27th, Oakland Unified School District and its partners celebrated the grand opening of a state-of-the-art vision clinic, housed within the Youth Heart Health Center at the La Escuelita Education Center. The event brought together over 25 community partners and health resources for students, and provided everyone with an opportunity to tour the clinic and learn about how vision problems can affect learning.

La Clínica's Youth Heart Health Center originally opened its doors in 2013 to provide medical, mental health, health education, and youth development services to students attending schools within the complex, including La Escuelita K-8, Dewey Academy, Metwest High School, and United Nations Child Development Center; however, services at Youth Heart Health Center have always been available to all students ages 3-21 living in Oakland and Alameda County.

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"Vision is vital to academic success and we are excited to open vision services to our youth and families," said Jane Garcia, CEO of La Clínica. "Through a grant from OneSight and in partnership with OUSD, we hope to alleviate barriers to learning for our students by providing timely access to high quality, school-based vision care. With this new addition to Youth Heart Health Center, we are able to care for our youth more holistically through our medical, mental health, and vision services."

The addition of optometry services will fill a persistent gap for Oakland students by providing year-round access to vision care and glasses with no out-of-pocket cost.

Despite many efforts and partnerships to bring vision services to Oakland schools and students, vision services and access to glasses continues to be a barrier to learning for many students attending Oakland schools. If students can't see the page or read the board, it's hard for them to engage fully in learning.

In April of 2017, La Clínica de La Raza was one of five organizations nationwide to be awarded a OneSight 'Focus On Sight' Grant to build a new school-based vision operatory at Youth Heart Health Center. Permanent school-based OneSight vision clinics debuted in 2012 at the Oyler School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Mara Larsen-Fleming, OUSD's Director of Health and Wellness had the opportunity visit the Oyler School in April 2014, while attending the Community School Coalition Conference in Cincinnati.

"The clinic was beautiful and very professional, and I saw first hand the impact the program was having on students. This is a huge win for Oakland schools and students," Larsen-Fleming said.

OneSight Foundation has been invested in Oakland schools since 2010, partnering with OUSD's Health Services unit to provide vision services for students pre-screened by School Nurses for vision problems through a mobile van that travels to roughly 28 K-8 schools each year on average. With this new stationary site for vision care, La Clínica anticipates serving an additional 2,000 students each year countywide. While services will be located at LEEC, they will be available to students' district wide by self-referral or referral from other providers within the community.

Over the last three months Youth Heart Health Center has piloted vision screenings for select grades at La Escuelita. Through this pilot, clinic staff partner with classroom teachers to bring their students to the clinic for a vision screening and to explore the clinic setting, while also learning about services offered outside of vision.

Of the 122 students screened over the course of three months, 33 were identified to have vision problems and have been provided with resources regarding treatment options through the clinic. The success of this pilot indicates a much larger potential to serve students throughout Oakland.

For more information about services at Youth Heart Health Center please contact Clinic Supervisor, Allan Gamboa at

For information regarding Oakland's School-Based Health Centers, please contact Mara Larsen-Fleming at