Mid-Valley Clinic to Be Rebuilt in November

When the Northridge earthquake destroyed their facility in 1994, employees of the Mid-Valley Comprehensive Health Center set up tents and trailers in a parking lot and stayed open for business.

In May, they moved into a six-story building, just down the street from the original site.

By mid-to-late November, county officials expect to begin construction of an $11-million replacement facility.

The center will be finished sometime in 2000, said Ronald E. Hansen, health services deputy for county Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky. The building will stand where the old facility crumpled after crews demolished it--7515 Van Nuys Blvd.

"This is like the home base for the public health effort in the San Fernando Valley," Hansen said. "The Valley has the highest number of uninsured people in the whole county. The comp center may be able to provide up to 100,000 out-patient visits a year."

While the center recorded 94,000 patient visits in the fiscal year before the January 1994 temblor, the number of visits has since plunged. Last year the center--the Valley's largest county health clinic--recorded only 32,000 visits, officials said.

The county will rebuild the health center with insurance money and Federal Emergency Management Agency funds.

After the earthquake, the health center--which provides low-income patients with primary care, ambulatory care, women's health services and immunizations--discontinued many services, including X-rays and ultrasound diagnosis.

Hansen said that when it reopens, it will again be a full-functioning health center that will also focus on health education outreach in schools.

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