August 2012, Sierra Sacramento Valley Medicine
By Alexa Calfee, MS II, Co-Director, Knights Landing Clinic
WHEN I FIRST LEARNED OF THE Knights Landing Community Engagement Project (KLCEP), I thought it was a dream come true. I came to the UC Davis Rural PRIME program because I want to be a rural family doctor, but I could not believe my luck — I was going to be part of starting a new clinic. This clinic was in
the rural community of Knights Landing, just outside of Woodland, providing services geared towards the migrant farmworker community.
Being a Yolo County local, I was thrilled to be working so close to home and with a population I had gone to school with over the years. For me, the Knights Landing Clinic aspect of KLCEP started during the first week of medical school, but for most KLCEP members and the Knights Landing Community, the clinic was a long time in coming. As the story has been told to me, both the only public school in the community and the local park were closed due to budget cuts. It may seem strange that a clinic sprang from the closing of a school, but this event was monumental in the organization of a group of community advocates, now known as the grupo
de mujeres. These women began to organize and reach outside of the Knights Landing community for help.
They found support in California Rural Legal Assistance and UC Davis sociology assistant professor, Natalia Deeb-Sossa, Ph.D. Eventually, the Woodland School District opened the Science and Technology Charter
School in 2010. It was also during this time that the community had been hit with the loss of other resources, including the local CommuniCare Clinic, which had been serving the community for several years. It was time for the grupo de mujeres to look for another solution.
When the CommuniCare Clinic closed, the migrant farmworkers’ access to health care was now not only compromised by the obvious language difficulties, but also by the necessity of transportation to Woodland. With only two weekly buses running to and from Woodland, a visit to the doctor’s office often meant calling in a favor from a neighbor or friend, or spending most of the day using public transportation while missing work.
The grupo de mujeres was well organized and had regular weekly meetings by this point. With some help from outside advocates, the women caught the attention of several student co-directors of Clínica Tepati (one of the seven clinics run by UC Davis students) and Rural PRIME students. After nearly three years of long meetings with multiple partners, another UC Davis student-run clinic was going to be a reality.
By October 2011, we had a facility, monetary support and a group of very dedicated faculty. We were about to open Clínica Tepati’s first satellite clinic, after smoothing out some lastminute details including setting up an EMR system and developing protocols. This was no small task for a group of first-year medical students with a full load of classes.
The Knights Landing Clinic officially opened its doors with a celebration on Sunday,January 29, 2012. The community came out for a town hall meeting and health care screenings. Each patient seen at the health fair has subsequently been followed up on clinic days with appointments scheduled via the EMR.
New patients come in on clinic days or call an answering service to leave a message for an appointment. The clinic is now open the third Sunday of each month and is staffed by medical student, undergraduate, nurse and
physician volunteers. A core group of graduate and medical student co-directors manage 20 undergraduate volunteers. Following KLCEP sentiments, the Knights Landing Clinic Board has a community member as a voting member, to help maintain community influence in the clinic’s activities.
Opening day marked only the beginning of an exciting adventure. The Knights Landing Clinic is joining forces with the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in an effort to promote a broader definition of health, termed “One-Health,” which includes the health of all members of the community, including pets, strays and farm animals. It is going to be a very exciting year for the Knights Landing Community. The creation of the Knights Landing Clinic has been a phenomenal collaboration between many individuals and groups.
We would like to especially thank the following:
CommuniCare Health Centers for their continued support; The UC Davis School of Medicine-Rural PRIME program: Dr. Suzanne Eidson-Ton,Sneha Patel, Dr. Don Hilty, Heather Mora; UC Davis School of Medicine: Dr. Thomas Nesbitt, Dr. Claire Pomeroy, Dr. Michael Wilkes, Dr. Mark Servis, Dr. Frederick Meyers, Ed Dagang; Clínica Tepati: Dr. Nate Hitzeman, Dr. Blanca Solis, Dr. Brenden Tu, board members; Yolo Family Resource Center: Bob Ekstrom, Josie Enriquez, Lina Hernandez;
California Rural Legal Assistance: Juanita Ontiveros; Dr. Natalia Deeb-Sossa; Woodland Joint Unified School District; • KLCEP members not previously mentioned: Denise Gutierrez, Kayla Tindall, Luis Godoy,
Sarah Ashley, Katie Corley, Oscar Valenzuela, Dolores Pena; • Knights Landing Co-Directors: Fiona Scott, Ashley Scarborough, Luis Ramirez, Jesse Landis, Phil Buss, Nadia Guardado; All of the nurse and physician preceptor volunteers who come every clinic day.
These individuals and groups are a perfect example of the collaboration needed to provide patients with accessible health care. None of this would have been possible without the support and continued support of these individuals and groups.
If you are interested in volunteering or would like more information about the Knights Landing Clinic, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.