As part of their united goal to improve access to community-based patient care, Sacramento County and UC Davis Health leaders have created a partnership to expand primary care services for up to thousands of additional Medi-Cal patients at the Sacramento County Primary Care Center, and to add onsite specialty care at the facility.

UC Davis Health physicians, nurse practitioners, medical residents and graduate students already offered primary and mental health care at the county’s center in Sacramento’s underserved Oak Park neighborhood, and the new partnership announced in January adds more primary care and women’s health providers. Specialists such as cardiologists, ophthalmologists and neurologists will also be added as needed with approval from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

Once those specialty services are approved, the center — a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) funded by HRSA to provide care for medically underserved populations — could become a national model.

“As an academic medical system, UC Davis Health has important responsibilities to meet the health care needs of the community and advance health care delivery in our region — and our partnership at Sacramento County Primary Care Center has an important role in helping us fulfill those commitments,” said David Lubarsky, CEO of UC Davis Health. “We’re excited to work with the county to create new models for providing highquality, affordable health services to everyone who needs them.”

With its location across the street from UC Davis Health’s Sacramento campus, the center will provide a conveniently located medical home for enrollees in Health Net Community Solutions. Established in October, the UC Davis-Health Net program ensures coverage and access to primary and specialty care for as many as 5,000 Medi-Cal patients. The center also provides a referral location for UC Davis Medical Center emergency room patients who need consistent follow-up care.

Sacramento primary care building

The center has always been open to anyone who needs care — regardless of insurance status or ability to pay — but has been underutilized since Covered California increased insurance access, said Peter Beilenson, director of the county’s Department of Health Services. At the same time, UC Davis Health has continued to seek new sites to fulfill its missions of serving the Medi-Cal population and training new health care providers.

"The expanded partnership is a win-win-win for Sacramento County, for UC Davis Health and, most importantly, for patients who need access to ongoing, well coordinated and high-quality health care,” Beilenson said.

» Learn more: Lubarsky and Beilenson discussed the new partnership on Capital Public Radio’s “Insight” program on Feb. 4. Listen to the discussion.