Families Together of Orange County expands to Fountain Valley, the nonprofit’s third clinic
A medical nonprofit that seeks to increase access to quality healthcare announced its expansion into Fountain Valley on Wednesday, having merged with the office of Dr. Sujata Lalla-Reddy, an infectious disease specialist.
This is the third satellite medical office of Families Together of Orange County, with the first two established in Garden Grove and Tustin. The latter location is considered to be the nonprofit’s main clinic and was the first to open.
For the record:
3:54 p.m. June 3, 2022This article previously stated Families Together of Orange County took over on May 15. The actual day was May 16.
The expansion into Fountain Valley was the result of nearly a year’s worth of discussion, according to chief executive officer Alexander Rossel.
“We wanted to make sure when we went into the world of infectious disease, we went with an expert. We looked for a practice that was already established in the community and it took us about nine months of going back and forth between the doctor and making sure she was comfortable about bringing her practice under our umbrella,” said Rossel. “But why infectious disease? Even though HIV and other infectious diseases are generally under control, there’s not many clinics offering these services. There’s a big need for that specialty.”
Rossel said the nonprofit was referred to Lalla-Reddy, who has been practicing in Fountain Valley for the past several years.
“The main reason I wanted to [merge with the nonprofit] was because I was seeing a disconnect between my seeing the patient and the patient getting their care as a whole for everything else,” said Lalla-Reddy. “If I saw an HIV patient and they had high cholesterol, they would be sent to a specialist and then not get in. There was a disconnect in the continuity of care. What tempted me about Families Together was that they are all about that; everything is done in exactly the same company and the same three locations.
“If I need my patient to see a therapist, I don’t have to rely on the insurance and figure out if they’ll get authorization or when they’re going to see somebody. I can get you in tomorrow. That’s amazing. All the other aspects of care that I can’t provide, I can now get access to and that’s why I’m connected now to Families Together.”
Lalla-Reddy admitted she was nervous about the merger, fearful that her patients might have objected or left her practice. Instead, the majority of the feedback she’s received so far has been positive, she said.
The nonprofit has officially been on board since May 16 and Lalla-Reddy said many of her patients haven’t noticed a change since the merger.
Rossel said the organization constantly looks for ways to ameliorate its gaps in care and saw Lalla-Reddy as dedicated to the community, though she was working in the private sector.
Families Together of Orange County expects to fund an expansion of at least 1,400 square feet to the Fountain Valley office’s existing suite to allow for a few more exam rooms and added specialties such as behavioral and physical therapy. The hope is to eventually implement a primary care practice in the Fountain Valley office.
Lalla-Reddy said she currently sees about 20 to 30 patients but anticipates being able to accommodate more as the nonprofit makes it easier for her to hire staff and lessen the burden on her. She jokes she has also been the janitor because she has had to do everything by herself.
Rossel said the nonprofit plans to open a clinic in Anaheim within the next year and is currently scouting locations.
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