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Clinical Solution : Health: The county’s sixth facility for uninsured and Medi-Cal patients opens in Moorpark and may treat 100 people daily.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Gity Monajemi’s medical information sat alone in the records room of the new Moorpark Family Care Clinic on Tuesday. Monajemi was the first patient to be seen at the clinic; her chart was easily filed away in the empty medical records room.

The county’s sixth and newest clinic for uninsured and Medi-Cal patients opened with no fanfare as clinic staff members went through the examining rooms and offices, making notes about what they will need to treat patients in the weeks and months ahead.

Located in a strip mall on the east side of Moorpark, the clinic has nine examining rooms, a room for minor operations, a lab, a small classroom and a records room. It cost about $220,000 to establish, and the monthly rent for the 4,000-square-foot facility will be about $5,000.

Monajemi was one of only three patients who sought care Tuesday at the facility, which could eventually see as many as 100 patients a day, said Dr. Richard Ashby, the clinic’s director.

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“Eventually we’ll have two full-time physicians here,” he said. “Right now it’s slow, of course. But I imagine we could see a similar demand to what we had in Simi. It would not be unreasonable for a clinic this size to treat about 100 patients a day.”

Ventura County Medical Center officials estimate that the clinic will eventually see about 1,000 patients a month during its first year, and will cost about $580,000 to run.

Tuesday’s light workload gave Ashby, who helped set up the clinic, a little more time to lavish on his patients. As he inquired into Monajemi’s condition, his words echoed slightly in the sparsely furnished clinic.

Monajemi, 64, suffering from high blood pressure and arthritis, lives with her son only a block away. A native of Iran, she has lived in Moorpark for about five years, but does not speak English, and because of her age has been unable to get insurance. Her son Matthew, a 37-year-old engineer with the California Department of Transportation, accompanied her to the clinic to translate.

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“She doesn’t speak English, does your doctor speak Farsi?” he asked to a smiling clinic manager.

Later, after Ashby checked his mother’s heartbeat and the swelling in her leg, Monajemi said he was relieved that a clinic finally opened so close to home.

“We’ve had to go to the hospital in Ventura before,” he said, taking his mother by the arm and leading her toward the front door. “This is much better. We just live down the street and it’s much easier for me to take her here, of course. It would be nice if they had more services like this in Moorpark, I know a lot of people who need them.”

The clinic is meant to replace a dilapidated clinic on High Street that was closed in October, 1993. Since that clinic closed, uninsured Moorpark residents or those on Medi-Cal have had to go to the clinic in Simi Valley or to the county hospital in Ventura for subsidized care.

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Another patient coming in Tuesday was Susan Smith, a 37-year-old Simi Valley resident, who recently lost her insurance and her job. Now a student at Moorpark College, Smith said she hurt her back and could not wait any longer to see a doctor. She said having the new clinic so close was a big help.

“It’s only five minutes away,” she said. “And price-wise it’s nice.”

The clinic, at 6559 Princeton Ave. in Moorpark, will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


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