Cambria Community Health Centers is now operating out of a larger building with double the number of exam rooms allowing them to see more patients and provide additional health services.
On Friday, a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony was held at the new facility that opened in December 2021. The ceremony was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but community members tell us things are off to a good start improving access to healthcare for members of the Cambria community and beyond.
"It's improved it 100%," said Mel McColloch, Cambria Chamber of Commerce President.
McColloch calls this health center the best in the county.
"I use it, so I know it is. I go to others and I can compare. We are very, very fortunate to have this facility here," McColloch said.
Without this clinic, residents would have to travel as far as Morro Bay for health services, about a half-hour drive, something that might not be possible in an emergency situation. The new clinic improves access to basic healthcare as well as bringing emergency care closer to home.
"Our patients go all the way from San Simeon. Some of them are in Ragged Point that come all the way here," said Cesilia Lomeli, Cambria Community Health Centers Family Nurse Practitioner.
They also see patients from as far as Creston and San Luis Obispo.
"It's all good. It has a great impact because it's needed in the community," McColloch said.
The nurse practitioner at the Cambria Community Health Center is the Cambria Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, and the residents say she is well-deserving of the title.
"She is currently the Citizen of the Year, and I think everyone is very proud of her. She certainly deserves it," McColloch said.
"I'm very thankful. I'm very excited that we have a new clinic. I'm very invested here in our community because this is where I live," Lomeli said.
The new clinic offers additional services and healthcare providers are hoping the list of services offered will continue to grow.
"As we evolve, I think those services will continue also and then we'll see what other services people need and care for it," Lomeli said.
Some of the main health services provided by CHC include primary care, telehealth and behavioral health.
The new community health center is taking new patients and walk-ins with or without insurance.