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One Last, Year-End Look at the Passing Parade of People in the News : Clinic Is the Rx

December 26, 1985|KATHLEEN HENDRIX

View has revisited some of the people and places it reported on in the last several months. Among them:

--Hollywood's Masquers Club, which because of declining funds sold its building and moved.

--Jimmy and Ricky Sperry, blinded in an accident 11 years ago, who received cornea transplants in August.

--Balu Natarajan, who triumphed over 167 other youngsters to win the National Spelling Bee in June.

The San Pedro Family Health Center in South-Central Los Angeles, last heard from in April, still is serving a predominantly Latino, low-income population on a sliding scale. And it is still operating, on a sliding-fee scale, not for profit.

Directors Ann Turner, a doctor of internal medicine, and Catherine Bax, a family nurse practitioner, founded the center in the belief that practicing medicine and administering health care are a means of practicing justice.

Expanding Bit by Bit

It is the same place, but growing, Ann Turner reported. Bit by bit, it has been able to provide more services and hopes to serve more patients in the near future.

Deborah Chambers, a recent graduate from UCLA who is a pediatric nurse practitioner, has been working there three days a week since September. Neil Nathanson, who has a master's degree in public health, has been lending his skills in grant proposal writing. Kaiser Permanente recently granted the center $2,000 to purchase an EKG machine. The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services has been supplying free vaccinations and has contracted with the center for medications used to treat communicable diseases.

Turner said the center hopes to be able to hire a half-time physician by February.

"She's a mother with a new baby and wants half-time work. She'll be working for substantially less than she would earn anyplace else. If we are able to hire her, we'll be able to extend our hours." (The center is open Monday through Friday.)

To date, she said, staff additions have enabled them "to see patients better, but not to expand. We're still overwhelmed with people asking us to see them. We'll start taking new patients again in January--there will have been enough attrition by then. Every day five or 10 people ask us personally, right here on the spot, plus those who call, to be placed on the waiting list we mistakenly started a year ago. There's more than 100 on it."

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