A year after first opening its doors, the new Fortuna Community Health Center continues to make huge strides for those living in the Eel River Valley. The population of patients who call this state-of-the-art facility their medical home continues to grow—as does the staff of professionals who bring this health center to life.

Alongside a team of nine primary care providers—two of which began offering prenatal care in May—the health center has brought in a diverse group of professionals to address the community’s needs for services like behavioral and dental health care.

The center opened dental services back in January with a pair of dentists striving to meet Fortuna’s overwhelming demands for care, one mouth at a time. “We were booked out through the end of the year by April,” said Open Door’s South Region Director Sarah Ross. With the hiring of a third dentist in May, Open Door has continued to increase access to dental services for patients of all ages in the Eel River Valley. We now have over 2000 patients receiving dental services in Fortuna.

Other highlights for the Fortuna center include the hiring of a recovery support specialist to help those patients who are struggling with opioid use disorder and chronic pain. To that end, the health center hosts a Suboxone program that is seeing tremendous growth.

Additionally, the center has a variety of staff onsite to help patients overcome social obstacles that are impeding their health. This staff includes:

  • A bilingual marriage and family therapist to offer behavioral health counseling to all ages
  • A case manager to help patients address a variety of support service needs, including housing and transportation
  • A member services representative to help patients with insurance enrollment
  • A Latino health coordinator to provide customized assistance to our Latino population
  • An OB registered nurse, who leads perinatal and breastfeeding support groups
  • And, a registered dietitian who provides onsite nutrition education

In the coming year, the Fortuna Community Health Center plans to form even stronger bonds within the community through new outreach efforts. “We’ll be starting a weekly Teen Clinic to help our local youth access necessary health care services,” Ross said. “We are also partnering with community groups, like Teen Challenge, who are volunteering in our community garden. The produce from our garden is free for all patients and community members.”

Are you in need of medical services in the Eel River Valley? The Fortuna Community Health Center is currently welcoming new patients. Open Door accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and most private insurance. For those without insurance, we offer a sliding fee scale and a variety of discounts based on income.