Cristopher Mendoza’s first visit to the Ravenswood Family Health Network was when he was 5, and his mother Maria noticed soft, round bumps in his mouth. Having heard positive things about Ravenswood, she booked an appointment for her son the next day.
At his appointment, a pediatrician checked Cris’ mouth and diagnosed him with a common bacterial infection. He was prescribed an antibiotic ointment that they could pick up at Ravenswood’s in-house pharmacy. After a week, the infection improved and Cris was feeling better.
Almost two years ago, MayView Community Health Centers in Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Sunnyvale became part of Ravenswood Family Health Network. Since then, Ravenswood has successfully operated MayView’s three sites and its East Palo Alto clinic to continue to provide access to health care for communities in both San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.
Across these sites, Ravenswood Family Health Network serves over 20,000 patients. It is one of the beneficiaries of this year's Almanac's Holiday Fund. Because The Almanac and its partner the Silicon Valley Community Foundation cover all the administrative costs, every dollar raised goes directly to this year's 10 nonprofit organizations. Donations to the Holiday Fund can be made at almanacnews.com/holiday_fund.
When Maria felt overwhelmed about Cris’ asthma, Ravenswood was there to help. Cris was diagnosed with asthma as an infant, and over time it has become more severe. Maria was desperate to feel more secure with Cris’ condition, and said “talking to the nurses at Ravenswood helped me understand the steps I must take to support his health.” Maria first gives Cris his inhaler, puts Vick's VapoRub on his body, and then helps direct his breathing. When he feels sick, they bring him to Ravenswood for asthma treatment. If his asthma worsens, they use the emergency room as a last resort.
Maria says she is so grateful for Cris’ stable health. Now, both of her children, Cris, who is now 10, and his sister Stacy who is 7, are seen by the same pediatrician. Stacy says, “I like that (Dr. Davis) explains why I’m sick to my mom.” Their doctor takes care of Cris and Stacy’s routine check-ups, is attentive of their allergies, and is on-call to prescribe medication as needed. Cris enjoys the relationship he has built with his doctor too and says, “Dr. Davis is not only my doctor, but my friend too.”
Having such a great experience at the start of Cris’ health journey encouraged his mother to enroll the rest of her family as Ravenswood patients as well. The whole Mendoza family has been patients of Ravenswood since 2015. Maria, her husband, Cris and Stacy have received pediatric, family medicine, dental, optometry and pharmacy services at Ravenswood.
To Maria, there is no other clinic that she and her entire family would use. “It is a blessing that the clinic is here,” she says. “There is no other clinic that attends (to us) like them here.”
Founded in 2001, Ravenswood Family Health Network is a federally qualified health center headquartered in the low-income East Palo Alto area of San Mateo County. They provide a comprehensive scope of health care services including: pediatrics, family practice, adult medicine, women’s health, integrated behavioral health, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, mammography, ultrasound, x-ray, lab, health education, and enrollment.
To learn more about Ravenswood and the services we offer, please visit www.ravenswoodfhn.org.