Healthy Choices

Peach Tree Health to take over MercyClinic Norwood

Dignity Health announced Wednesday that it will transfer management of its Norwood Avenue clinic, one of three primary care clinics it runs in Sacramento, to Peach Tree Health, which operates a network of community health centers in Sutter and Yuba counties.

Dignity Health will maintain the Norwood Avenue clinic until Peach Tree Health opens a new, larger clinic location in the same area, said Dignity spokeswoman Melissa Jue.

As a qualified health center, Peach Tree Health receives grant money from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide care to low-income patients. That status allows it to provide additional patient services in its clinics, such as preventive care, behavioral health and pharmacy.

“I am confident that with Peach Tree Health’s strong business model and the relationships it has already established in the Sacramento region, this collaboration will help build the more robust community clinic system that our region so desperately needs,” said Laurie Harting, senior vice president of operations for the Dignity Health Sacramento-San Joaquin Service Area, in a press release.

Dignity Health will support Peach Tree Health throughout the transition, Jue said. The Mercy clinic, which serves about 650 people a month, will not close at 3911 Norwood Ave. until a new location opens, Jue said.

Peach Tree Health will take over all costs associated with the new clinic once the transfer is complete and intends to retain the Mercy clinic employees, according to the press release.

This will be Peach Tree’s first Sacramento location; it operates medical clinics in Live Oak, Marysville and Yuba City.

Dignity conducted a lengthy study in 2013 to analyze its future ability to provide for the area’s growing underserved population, ultimately deciding it faced operating as an outpatient facility of a hospital.

“As (a federally qualified health center), we have the necessary structure and systems in place to make sure we continue to carry on the mission and great legacy of MercyClinic Norwood, now and into the future,” said Greg Stone, chief executive officer of Peach Tree Health, in a statement. “As the Affordable Care Act rolls out, the federal government is placing a great deal of responsibility on FQHCs like ours … We are poised to assume a significant role … serving as a medical home for the underserved.”

Call The Bee’s Sammy Caiola, (916) 321-1636.