The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

New health clinic on campus set to build in 2024

An illustration of a new health clinic generated by artificial intelligence.

Santa Clara County plans to build a health care center on campus as soon as next year to provide affordable health care for the community and experience for medical students.

Patrick Ahrens, Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees President, said that the collaboration between Santa Clara County and De Anza College is the first known partnership in the state of California.

“There does not exist a county clinic on community college property,” Ahrens said. “This has the potential to be a model for the rest of the state.”

Ahrens said he conceived the project after reading an article in the Mountain View Voice about Santa Clara County’s struggles to find property for a new county health clinic.

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Ahrens said that even though the county had the money set aside to build the clinic, “they were struggling to find commercial space to build it on and were lamenting about how expensive it (the area) was.”

After learning of this difficulty, Ahrens contacted Santa Clara County supervisor Joe Simitian and suggested building the county clinic on the De Anza College campus.

On Nov. 7, 2022, De Anza President Lloyd Holmes officially proposed the idea in a Letter of Interest to the Board of Trustees.

Simitian said Ahrens is leading the FHDA board to conduct a study on the project’s feasibility, starting later this year. The study is set to last about 4-6 months, returning the proposal to the board for review with shareholders in early to mid-2024.

Simitian said Santa Clara County staff had already conducted their own feasibility study previously, concluding that the project was “entirely possible to build.”

A map illustrates the proposed location for the new health clinic building in parking lot B, coming up in 2024. (Photo courtesy of Vice President Susan Cheu)

Currently, the proposal allocates for a 25,000-square-foot, two-story facility to be placed in parking lot B, displacing around 140 public parking spaces. The proposed site is estimated to cost somewhere between $67.6 million and $84.1 million for construction, medical equipment, parking and solar power.

Ahrens said the board’s feasibility study will observe the trends and status of campus parking needs at De Anza and how this installation impacts students.

FHDA Chancellor Lee Lambert said he believes parking will not be a significant issue.

“Looking at the student patterns, it speaks to the future of higher education, with more students starting to learn online,” Lamber said. “So all of a sudden, the pattern of mobility has changed on De Anza’s campus.”

Under the proposed plan, the clinic will be used for general practice such as dental, radiology and urgent care services, as well as a pharmacy, specimen lab and educational space. The facility will also offer medical students first-hand experience.

“We still only have a draft of the proposal,” Ahrens said. “It’s still being negotiated between the county and administration … Mental healthcare is still greatly needed and we want to make sure that is included as well.”

Regarding community outreach, Ahrens said, “In our public meetings and with the Board of Supervisors, (the proposal) received unanimous support with no opposition.”

Lambert said supporting the students was the board’s motivation behind the project.

“Community colleges are the only post-secondary educational institution that is focused on the community they are in service to,” Lambert said. “We want to demonstrate that reality.”

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Vincent Scrivens
Vincent Scrivens, Editor-In-Chief (+ News Editor)
Vincent started pursuing journalism because he found it to be a career that has had a significant impact on the modern world. The power to rattle even the most protected establishments and people is quite enthralling to him, and he hopes to gain knowledge and skills from La Voz that can help him do just that.

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