Doctor Doriel works with Eliana at the Ravenswood Family Health Center in 2022. Courtesy Lourdes Sanchez.Posted Dec. 2, 2022
For two decades, Ravenswood Family Health Network has served low-income and uninsured people
by Angela Swartz / Almanac
A few months ago, after weeks of an unexplained 104-degree fever, an enlarged tonsil and stomach pain, 3-year-old Eliana came to Ravenswood Family Health Network and finally received a diagnosis.
Her primary care provider Doriel got her scheduled with an ear, nose and throat specialist who did an ultrasound and found a branchial cleft cyst, which required antibiotics and surgery to treat. Eliana was discharged from the hospital in five days.
"If it weren't for Doriel, my daughter would not have received the treatment she needed," her mother Tania said. The Almanac agreed to use pseudonyms for the patients and doctor to protect their privacy.
Ravenswood Family Health Network is one of the beneficiaries of The Almanac's Holiday Fund. Donations are divided equally among this year's 10 nonprofit organizations and 100% of the funds raised go directly to the recipients. Donations to the Holiday Fund can be made at almanacnews.com/holiday_fund .
The health center serves about 24,000 patients annually, most of whom are low-income and uninsured and live in the ethnically diverse East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, and North Fair Oaks areas, according to its CEO Luisa Buada. The health center grew in 2020 when it absorbed MayView Community Health clinics in Mountain View, Palo Alto and Sunnyvale.
The organization, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in this year, is also in the process of transitioning to a new CEO, as Buada nears retirement in December 2023. Gralyn Jacques, the company's CFO, is serving as deputy CEO and will fully take over when Buada leaves.
"We're able to continually grow and expand," Buada said. "We look like the patients we serve and we're hiring people from the communities we work in. ... For the first time, we're hiring people (whose) mothers did their prenatal care with. It's pretty exciting to see it come full circle."
Buada, who is a nurse, will stay on to help with capital projects like developing urgent care services. She said the hope is for Ravenswood Family Health to open a dental clinic in Redwood City in the next couple of years, expand services in Sunnyvale (where demand is high but the clinic is small) and expand lab services in general.
For more on the health centers, go here.