School nurse Cindy Rose Escamilla has always dreamed of serving all the low income families in the Rowland Unified School District, but there's only so much the school district can do.

Unless, of course, it gets help from the East Valley Community Health Center. Then dreams really can come true, such as the new clinic at Villacorta Elementary School in La Puente.

The sparkling new medical center opened on May 15, bringing affordable health care to not only the students, but their entire families.

"I've wanted our own clinic since 1986," Escamilla recalled. "We tried 10 years ago at another school site in Rowland Heights, but it didn't work out."

Good thing the pediatric nurse practitioner didn't give up. And

Front and back office staff at East Valley's expansion at the Villacorta Community Health Clinic. (Courtesy photo by Gina Ward, Rowland Unified)
it gave her the chance to meet Alicia Mardini, the chief executive officer of East Valley.

"I've known her for years, since then she's been interested in opening a clinic in our district. She's amazing at getting people involved," Escamilla continued.

This partnership between the schools and health care provider resulted in the new $875,000 clinic on the sprawling La Puente campus. It was funded primarily by a grant for $750,000 from the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

County Supervisor Gloria Molina introduced the motion to permit the Health Services Department to establish neighborhood clinics such as Villacorta.

"And it's not just for kids. During school hours, children from the district will

be seen. But after school, the clinic is open to everyone," the nurse practitioner said with a smile.

Gloria Mejia was the first patient seen on opening day on Tuesday.

"Gloria, 32 years old, shared that she had not had a physical exam since the age of 17 due to lack of funds," said Gina Ward, spokeswoman for Rowland Unified. "She was very grateful to know that she can receive quality care at East Valley."

East Valley spokeswoman Lorena Gardea noted that all Medi-Cal/Healthy Families members will have access to all their facilities. Click HERE for entire story!