Community, Events, Fire Department

Hayward’s Trailblazing “Firehouse Clinic” Set to Open

Innovative partnership to bring primary & preventive care services to South Hayward

October 29, 2015

(HAYWARD, CA) – The City of Hayward will host a grand opening ceremony on Friday, November 13, for its new South Hayward fire station and first-of-its-kind community health clinic. The ceremony begins at 1:00 p.m. and will include tours of the new Fire Station #7, Firehouse Clinic, and health screenings for local residents. Local leaders including Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday, U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell and Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle will provide remarks at 2:00 p.m. The project is a collaboration among the City of Hayward, the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency (HCSA), and Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, Inc.

More than a simple primary care outlet, the Firehouse Clinic reimagines the arc of health care delivery. Tighter integration among traditionally loosely-aligned providers and a keen focus on flexibility and shared resources are just a few elements that make the initiative unique.

"The Firehouse Clinic is important both for what it is and also for what it represents: a paradigm shift in the way we view the continuum of health care,” said Hayward Fire Chief Garrett Contreras. “It recognizes first responders' critical role in the health care delivery system while leveraging elements intrinsic to the fire service: our strategic locations in each community, social equity built over time, and a focus on service delivery -- when and where residents need it most."

The Firehouse Clinic, which will offer extended hours to better accommodate the schedules of working families, co-locates a full-service primary and preventative care clinic on the grounds of a fire station. The co-location element is a simple yet thoughtful design since fire stations are already strategically situated to serve distinct

communities. More important, the model works to increase communication, data sharing and coordinated services between EMS and primary care in order to direct patients to appropriate settings/levels of care.

“Firefighters have a trusted, credible reputation with underrepresented communities,” said HCSA Director, Alex Briscoe. “Alameda County saw this as an unprecedented opportunity for collaboration, prompting our multi- million dollar investment of Measure AA support for this first Firehouse Clinic. Through blended public funding and third-party billing, this is a scalable, sustainable model that we have experience with.”

The efficiencies inherent to the clinic’s model seek to create a more effective, patient-centered health care system that will ultimately reduce unnecessary emergency calls and improve patient outcomes.

“TVHC, with our promise of 72-hour access to care, is uniquely positioned to serve the community with this pioneering new project,” said David Vliet, CEO of Tiburcio Vásquez Health Centers, the clinic’s operating partner. “For more than 40 years, TVHC has served as the primary safety net for the under and uninsured in Hayward. This partnership highlights our clinical expertise with the City’s and County’s desire to meet the needs of the community.”

The new Fire Station #7, located at 28300 Huntwood Avenue in South Hayward, replaces a badly deteriorating temporary structure, which had served as home to one of the Hayward Fire Department’s busiest stations for more than a decade. The associated Firehouse Clinic is a unique collaboration between the Hayward Fire Department, Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, Acute Care Hospitals, and Alameda County Health Care Services Agency’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Division.

The Firehouse Clinic is the first of its kind both in Alameda County and the State. Designed to provide an alternative to community clinics that have long wait times and costly (often preventable) emergency room visits, the clinic will provide local residents with accessible and affordable health care regardless of coverage.

Event: Hayward Fire Station #7 and Firehouse Clinic Grand Opening Celebration
Date: Friday, November 13, 2015
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  (Remarks begin at 2:00 p.m.)
Place: 28300 Huntwood Ave., Hayward California 94544