The UCLA-affiliated Venice Family Clinic and the nonprofit Common Ground, two preeminent health care and service providers for those in need on Los Angeles' Westside, have merged, bringing their respective HIV services under a single umbrella — the Common Ground program of Venice Family Clinic.
As the Westside's only provider of comprehensive HIV services for low-income and homeless patients, the Common Ground facility in Santa Monica will continue to offer critical support to those living with HIV and AIDS.
With recent changes to federal funding reimbursements for service providers mandated under the Affordable Care Act, Common Ground realized it would not be able to keep its doors open. Venice Family Clinic, one of Common Ground's longtime community partners, acted quickly to ensure that the organization's important contributions to this vulnerable community would continue.
For the last 20 years, Common Ground and Venice Family Clinic, which receives support from UCLA Health System and other medical centers, have collaborated to provide the only continuum of HIV care on the Westside to thousands of people living with HIV.
"As longtime partners of Common Ground, we know how many people rely on the critical, high-quality services they provide," said Elizabeth Benson Forer, CEO of Venice Family Clinic. "This merger will ensure there will be no gap in service by bringing together two renowned teams committed to working in partnership to address the health care and service needs of those living with HIV."
In addition to mental health and case management services, peer-to-peer counseling, and preventive services, last year Common Ground provided 1,500 HIV tests and removed more than 150,000 dirty needles from circulation through a needle-exchange program.
Every year, more than 24,000 people seek support from the Venice Family Clinic's expert team, including HIV/AIDS testing, treatment and counseling.
The Venice Family Clinic provides quality health care to people in need. With nine clinical sites in Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, Inglewood and Culver City, Venice Family Clinic is the medical home for thousands of low-income and uninsured families across Los Angeles. With the support of donors and volunteers — including UCLA faculty, medical residents and medical students — the nonprofit Venice Family Clinic provides quality medical, dental, mental health, vision and specialty care to more 24,000 men, women and children with nowhere else to turn each year.