San Francisco Health Commissioner Cecilia Chung speaks at the launch of an API Wellness campaign for expanded health care services in the Tenderloin neighborhood Tuesday, October 11, 2016. (Dan Chambers/Special to S.F. Examiner)

San Francisco Health Commissioner Cecilia Chung speaks at the launch of an API Wellness campaign for expanded health care services in the Tenderloin neighborhood Tuesday, October 11, 2016. (Dan Chambers/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Bus-shelter campaign pushes health care for low-income SF residents

A San Francisco-based community health center has launched a bus-shelter campaign to advertise its health care services for area residents regardless of their ability to pay.

API Wellness became a federally-qualified community health center in fall of 2015 and was more recently approved to accept Medi-Cal and Medicare patients. Health care services were provisionally launched in 2011.

The health care center, located at 726 Polk St., has three clinical exam rooms, four counseling suites, a community art therapy studio and client art gallery. In 2017, the facility will be open five days a week with seven full-time staff members where an expected 4,000 patients will be served with culturally-competent services.

In 2015, of 3,000 clients served, 36 percent were identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual and an additional 34 percent identified as transgender. Seventy-four percent were people of color.

The new advertisements will be placed in Tenderloin bus shelters to get maximum visibility among area residents and others who commute through the area. The bus campaign is expected to run through December.

“When we look at the different districts, the Tenderloin and [South of Market] districts are where underserved residents are,” said Health Commissioner Cecilia Chung. “Because community health is our number one priority of the city of San Francisco and Department of Public Health, we are really thrilled to see API become a federally-qualified center to meet the needs in the neighborhoods.”

API CEO Lance Toma noted that often many residents have no health care and, as a last resort, use San Francisco General and St. Francis hospitals’ emergency rooms for acute care.

“Even though there is a high concentration of health care providers in these areas, there is still a level of need that is unacceptable,” Toma said in an email to the San Francisco Examiner.

API started in 1987 as a grassroots response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in the Asian and Pacific Island communities. It has since broadened its mission to serve the Tenderloin and Civic Center neighborhoods as a community health care center offering counseling, therapy, case management and other community services.
API wellnesshealth careLGBTTenderloin

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Second grader Genesis Ulloa leads students in an after-school community hub in a game at the Mission YMCA on Friday, May 7, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF parents face school year with hope, trepidation and concern

‘Honestly, I don’t know how I’m going to deal with it’

Health care workers in the intensive care unit at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, with Alejandro Balderas, a 44-year-old patient who later died. Even in California, a state with a coronavirus vaccination rate well above average, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has nearly doubled in the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database. (Isadora Kosofsky/The New York Times)
Why COVID took off in California, again

‘The good news is: The vaccines are working’

Lake Oroville stood at 33 percent full and 40 percent of historical average when this photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Tribune News Service)
A kayaker on the water at Lake Oroville, which stands at 33 percent full and 40 percent of historical average when this photograph was taken on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Oroville, Calif. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times via Tribune News Service)
Facing ‘dire water shortages,’ California bans Delta pumping

By Rachel Becker CalMatters In an aggressive move to address “immediate and… Continue reading

Most Read