Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center
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Virginia Garcia 10th Annual Health Care Symposium Tackles Toxic Stress - 04/23/18

In the past month there have been more than 200 stories published about toxic stress.  That's a lot of press. So why continue to talk about it? 

For anyone in the health care industry, terms like "adverse childhood experiences" or "trauma-informed care" are not new terms. However, the approach on how best to care for patients who have experienced long term adversity is still evolving.

Toxic stress is persistent and prolonged adversity without an adequate support system. For a child the kind of stress that elevates to toxic levels isn't your everyday worries about school or friends. According to the Harvard Center on the Developing Child it can include persistent stress from family trauma, physical or emotional abuse, food insecurity, exposure to violence or mental illness and this prolonged impact takes it's toll.

Persistent toxic stress affects the development of the brain and places the individual at a higher risk for drug and alcohol abuse, depression and even cardiovascular disease later in life. It simultaneously reduces the likelihood to succeed in school, maintain healthy relationships and hold down a job.  To make matters worse, the longer toxic stress is present, the harder it is to reverse the effects.

Join Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center on Thursday, April 26th for the 10th annual Virginia Garcia Health Care Symposium. We have gathered a group of experts, led by US News and World Report health reporter, Ruben Castaneda, to have an open and informed discussion about toxic stress, the impact is it having on our children and our community and how health care can work together to eliminate the long term effects.

When: Thursday, April 26.
Networking hour begins at 5:30 with the Symposium beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Where: OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building

For more information and to purchase tickets, go to

Attached Media Files: Toxic Stress flyer
Southwest Community Health Center in Hillsboro to Close; Patients Will Transition to Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center - 03/29/18

After providing comprehensive medical care to over 1,800 patients at its Hillsboro clinic location since 2013, Southwest Community Health Center is partnering with Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center to transition its Hillsboro-based patients to a new medical home. This process will begin in April of this year with a goal of having all patients established with Virginia Garcia by the end of June and all SWCHC Hillsboro clinic operations will conclude at the same time.

“The changing nature of the health care landscape has made it necessary for us to find a more permanent and comprehensive primary care option for our Hillsboro patients,” said Samira Godil, Executive Director of SWCHC. “Our patients deserve access to services beyond medical visits, including dental, mental health, pharmacy, and vision. Virginia Garcia has the resources available to provide this expansive care.”

SWCHC opened its Portland clinic in 2005 and its Hillsboro site in 2013. Both volunteer-based primary care clinics serve their respective area’s low-income uninsured population and provide acute care as well as primary care for patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and depression. Specialty women’s health services and partnerships with local community resources have been added and strengthened over the years to better care for a patient population that does not have access to comprehensive medical care. 

Beginning in April, Virginia Garcia will provide on-site staff at SWCHC Hillsboro clinic to help patients register for services at Virginia Garcia, and for those who are eligible, sign up for Medicaid. Most SWCHC Hillsboro patients will transfer to Virginia Garcia’s nearby Hillsboro Clinic.

“We thank Southwest Community Health Center and their many volunteers who have provided a wonderful service for the community,” said Gil Muñoz, CEO, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center. “Virginia Garcia is committed to ensuring no patient falls through the cracks and we will work carefully with Southwest Community Health Center to ensure a smooth transition.”

Both organizations are deeply committed to the continuity of care for SWCHC patients. Virginia Garcia serves a similar population to SWCHC and both share the mission to provide high quality, comprehensive, and culturally responsive primary health care to those with barriers to receiving care. It is because of this similarity of purpose and mission that SWCHC and Virginia Garcia are confident that, throughout and after the transition, patients will continue to receive the care they deserve. Patients moving to their new medical care homes should experience uninterrupted care in a familiar setting. Virginia Garcia welcomes these new patients and is committed to a smooth transition.

Virginia Garcia will look for opportunities to continue a relationship with Southwest Community’s volunteer providers, who have given so much of their time and expertise to helping those who need it most. 



Attached Media Files: Health Care press release