In 1971, social activists Mary Hummel, Mamie Barger, and Reverend Eleazar H. Echeverria opened the Santa Paula Free Clinic in a shared karate studio in the city of Santa Paula. Dedicated to serving the medical needs of Ventura County’s medically underserved population, this tiny clinic was staffed by a team of volunteers and nurses.
As the need for quality, affordable health care grew, the clinic expanded to better serve its patients. In 1975, through a rural health grant funded by the State of California, the Santa Paula Free Clinic became the Community Clinic of The Santa Clara River Valley. The clinic moved to a larger location in Santa Paula, and hired its first full time staff, including a physician, a nurse, and a community health worker. In March of 1979, the clinic moved to Saticoy, CA. The Oxnard health center came next in 1980, The scope of services had grown beyond the Santa Clara River Valley, hence the name Clinicas del Camino Real, Inc. to cover the entire Ventura County. Clinicas del Camino Real, Inc.., served more than 3,000 patients during the first year of operation, marking a new era in healthcare for Ventura County.
Today, Clinicas, as we are commonly known, continues to grow and expand. Now we have fifteen full-service health centers throughout Ventura County. For patients who are unable to come to us, we go to them, with fully equipped, mobile medical and dental units.
Clinicas now serves over 100,000 patients seeking medical, dental, optical, preventive, prenatal, and mental health care. Our work doesn’t stop here. Clinicas del Camino Real, Inc. looks forward to adding more health centers, more outreach and education programs, and more comprehensive services in the years to come. Whatever the medical needs, Clinicas del Camino Real, Inc. is here for the patients and their families of today and tomorrow.