First-of-its-kind health clinic for foster children opens in Sacramento

Clinic is a joint partnership between UC Davis Health and Sacramento County Health Center


UC Davis Health has partnered with the Sacramento County Health Center to open a first-of-its-kind clinic in Sacramento to provide medical care for children in the foster care system.

Located in the Sacramento County Health Center, it’s called the CIRCLE clinic, which stands for Comprehensive Integration of Resilience into Child Life Experiences. The clinic opened last November at 4600 Broadway.

CIRCLE Clinic team
The CIRCLE clinic team includes, from left to right, Albina Gogo, Serena Yang, Scott Akins, Brandi Hawk, Lisa Rasmussen and Katy Carlsen.

The Sacramento County Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center that provides primary care and behavioral health services to low income residents of Sacramento County.  

The purpose of the CIRCLE clinic is to: 

  • offer a medical home for the children and adolescents of Sacramento County involved in child welfare
  • offer primary pediatric care from UC Davis pediatricians
  • coordinate specialty care
  • coordinate and provide mental health services in partnership with the UC Davis CAARE Center
  • screen and refer for any behavior and developmental concerns in partnership with providers at the UC Davis MIND Institute
  • connect the child and family with appropriate resources in the community
  • offer appropriate follow-up and communication to close the loop with child welfare providers

“The key part of this model is to provide care coordination, not only with child welfare but also with those involved in the child’s life in a child-centered manner. We have integrated general pediatricians, mental care professionals, behavioral therapists and child psychiatrists, along with public health nurses and the county’s child welfare,” said UC Davis volunteer clinical faculty member and pediatrician Katy Carlsen, who has helped spearhead these efforts and donated funds to make this clinic possible. A UC Davis endowment has also been established to generate funds.

UC Davis pediatrician Albina Gogo has been part of a workgroup for the past three years to create this clinic and works there part time.

“Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), including being in the foster care system, can create trauma and impact the health and wellbeing of children. The CIRCLE clinic provides comprehensive, trauma-informed, culturally-sensitive health care to help instill resilience into these children’s lives, resulting in better long-term health outcomes and more stable foster home placements,” Gogo said.

So far, the team has seen about a dozen pediatric patients.

“I was super excited when I heard about it,” said Monica Foote, a former foster child who is now a foster parent, who came to the clinic for the first time this month. “I experienced a lot of trauma in the system and it did affect my physical health. I’m glad that there is a clinic like this. It’s really touched my heart.” 

For more information about the Circle Clinic, call 916-874-9670.