Grant funding to support health services in northwest part of County

A major infusion of funds to support health care services is coming to northwest Santa Clara County.

The El Camino Healthcare District awarded $750,000 to Valley Medical Center Hospitals and Clinics Tuesday. The funds will support expanded behavioral health and dental services, particularly for low-income or uninsured residents.

Valley Medical’s clinic in Sunnyvale will use some of the funds to help with mental health early identification and intervention.

“Providing access to increased mental health screenings in a primary care clinic setting will help with early identification and intervention of serious mental health conditions, which is something we are committed to addressing as a Healthcare District,” said Dan Woods, CEO of El Camino Health.

Encouraging routine dental visits, another target program, can help reduce emergencies that cost more and have perverse health effects.

El Camino Healthcare District has supported dental services programs at the Sunnyvale clinic since 2009. Last year, using grant funds, Valley Homeless Healthcare Program was able to use a mobile unit to increase patient access.

County Supervisor Joe Simitian welcomed the funding, particularly as county healthcare systems face budget shortfalls due to COVID-19.

“The grant will make it possible to say ‘yes’ to important healthcare services which might otherwise have been at risk,” Simitian said.