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Venice : Head of Free Clinic to Retire

August 26, 1993

Fern Seizer, under whose leadership the Venice Family Clinic became the nation's biggest free clinic, has announced that she will retire later this year after 11 years as executive director.

Seizer, 58, told the clinic's board of directors that she plans to take advantage of an early retirement incentive offered at UCLA, with which the private clinic and its staffers are affiliated.

"The clinic is in really good shape. I feel good about all that's happened," Seizer said Wednesday. "It takes a lot of energy to keep moving this organization forward, and it's probably time for someone else to take that challenge."

Seizer is credited with piloting the nonprofit clinic through difficult financial straits while coping with a growing patient load as it sprouted from tiny rented offices eventually to occupy the current complex on Rose Avenue.

In that time, the clinic has expanded its services to the poor fivefold. It now registers about 50,000 patient visits a year and provides a broad range of free medical care to about 11,000 children and adults. It has a $5-million annual budget, employs about 100 staffers and has about 2,300 volunteers.

Seizer said she will remain on the job until a new director is picked, a process that could take until January.

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