Our Laguna: Cinco de Mayo event muy bueno for clinic

May 09, 2013|By Barbara Diamond
  • Arnold Hano, Councilman Bob Whalen and Kristen Whalen at the Laguna Beach Community Clinic Cinco de Mayo celebration.
Arnold Hano, Councilman Bob Whalen and Kristen Whalen…

Sunday may have been foggy, but the goal of the Laguna Beach Community Clinic's Cinco de Mayo celebration was clear — raise money.

About $53,000 was netted at the annual event, held Sunday on the terraced patio of Ann and Jim Shea's hillside home. The proceeds included the money raised to match Francine and Daniel Scinto's $4,000 challenge grant in honor of Mayor Kelly Boyd.

Boyd has made a significant contribution for the past eight years to the clinic, one of the local nonprofits that benefit from the Spring Classic Golf Tournament he sponsors.

"Laguna cares," Boyd said. "We give. Dig deep to continue the great things the clinic does for our community."

The funds were dedicated to helping the clinic transition to a new electronic patient data system.

"A medical electronic record is the last thing you want to hear about at a fun cocktail party, but the future of the clinic requires it," said clinic board member George Heed, chair of the endowment committee.


The endowment fund was kicked off two years ago with a $250,000 donation. The goal is to raise $10 million.

"It is ambitious, but it is working," Heed said. "The funds will allow the clinic to achieve its mission."

The mission to provide excellent medical care for all individuals in Orange County, regardless of the ability to pay, hasn't changed since the clinic was founded in 1970, although it is no longer free. Medical, dental and health education services are offered to low-income people and those who are uninsured or under-insured, with the cost based on ability to pay.

The difference is made up by grants from the government and private agencies, including money raised at the fiesta and Handbags for Health, which was held Thursday in the Laguna Presbyterian Church Courtyard.

"People don't know enough about the clinic," hostess Ann Shea said.

She credited clinic board member Mary Kate Saunders with making her aware of how much the clinic is needed in town.

More than 16,000 patient visits are recorded every year, according to clinic officials.

Services include primary and specialty care for patients of all ages in areas from obstetrics to pediatrics to cardiology.

The clinic is a leader in HIV/AIDS testing and primary care. Testing is anonymous. Programs include case management, education, prevention and early intervention.

Counseling services range from nutrition to quitting smoking.

And you can get your teeth cleaned.

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