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Encounters The semi-annual newsletter of Venice

Family Clinic

Winter 2015

Specializing in Quality Care


Jeff Sinaiko, Chair William Flumenbaum, Immediate Past Chair Stewart Seradsky, Treasurer LoEtte Loshak, Secretary Mayer B. Davidson, MD Paula Davis Aime Espinosa Luis Galvez

Rich Markey Neil H. Parker, MD Paul Saben Lourdes Servin Nadia Shaheen Carmen Thomas-Paris Leisa Wu

Intoducing Jeff Sinaiko: VFC Board Chair We are proud to announce our new Board Chair, Jeff Sinaiko! An avid champion for Venice Family Clinic’s mission, Jeff has seen the Clinic through many years. Now, as he takes on this crucial leadership role, we check in with him to gain a deeper perspective on why Venice Family Clinic matters to him.


William Flumenbaum, Immediate Past Chair Frank Matricardi, DrPH, Treasurer Fern Seizer, Secretary Susan Adelman Carol L. Archie, MD Neal Baer, MD Rick Bradley Judy Briskin Lowell C. Brown, Esq. David M. Carlisle, MD, PhD Mayer B. Davidson, MD Susan Fleischman, MD John R. Geresi Chester F. Griffiths, MD, FACS Jimmy H. Hara, MD Julie Briskin Harelson Joan E. Herman Deborah Laub

Lou Lazatin Harley Liker, MD, MBA Tracey Loeb Gail Margolis, Esq. Frank Matricardi, DrPH Viren Mehta Wendy Smith Meyer, PhD, LCSW Etan Chaim Milgrom, MD Jeff Nathanson William D. Parente Hutch Parker Neil H. Parker, MD Tom Paulsen, MD Bill Resnick, MD, MBA Mike Sarian Judy Shore Alan Sieroty Russel Tyner, AIA Michael S. Wilkes, MD, PhD Leisa Wu


Ruth Bloom Joanne Jubelier, PhD Karl A. Keener, Esq.

Ruth Moss Marsha Temple, Esq.


Susan Adelman & Claudio Llanos Kathleen Aikenhead Marjorie Fasman Ruth Flinkman-Marandy Hilary & Robert Nelson Jacobs Glorya Kaufman Susanne & Paul Kester Shawn & Larry King Deborah Laub

Chuck Lorre Laurie MacDonald Anita May Rosenstein Victoria & Ronald Simms Richard Squire Billie Milam Weisman Ruth Ziegler Marilyn Ziering Diane & Michael Ziering Janet & Jerry Zucker

You have an extraordinary family legacy here. How did that all start? My first knowledge of the Clinic came from a friend’s parents, Michael and Sheila Goldberg, back when I was in high school. I then became involved and joined the Board soon after moving back to Los Angeles and starting my career in the health care industry. It wasn’t until much later that I learned my grandfather worked as a volunteer UCLA physician in the earliest days of the Clinic, and was part of the UCLA School of Medicine leadership that set the path for the relationship the Clinic has had with UCLA for over 40 years. My entire family shares my commitment to the Clinic and its mission. What do you think makes the clinic so unique? As with any great organization, it’s always the people. The Clinic’s people at all levels – clinicians, staff, management, volunteers and Boards – have always done an extremely good job of staying focused on the mission. Not all organizations succeed in doing that as well, and certainly not over such a long period of time. That is one of the things that is unique and that I believe has led to the longevity and the level of excellence at the Clinic. Thinking back, what have been some of your favorite VFC moments? I have some incredible memories of the time spent “working” on behalf of the Clinic. Like what makes the Clinic unique, most of those memories revolve around the people, some going back over twenty years now. I will say though, and forgive me, but if I had to a pick a favorite VFC moment, it’s clearly meeting my fiancée, Kristal, at Venice Art Walk. How have you seen the Clinic change to better serve our patients? I think two recent changes may be the best examples of significant leaps forward on behalf of our patients. One is what we achieved in the design and opening of the Lou Colen Children’s Health and Wellness Center. That facility is not just an enormous change in our patients’ experience, or vast improvement in the quality and efficiency of our providers’ care, but a true model for the entire health care industry. The other key advancement is the implementation of our electronic medical records system. The benefits of that technology will be accruing for many years to come, but getting over the initial hurdle of converting is a major milestone and is already an improvement for our patients and the entire organization.


Martin Anderson, MD, MPH Bernard Briskin Stan Chiu Dana Coleman Lynn Compton, RN Noah Craft, MD, PhD Allison L. Diamant, MD, MSHS Lucia Diaz Laddie John Dill Lila Garrett Allan Gordon Daniel Helberg Roseann Herman, Esq. Lee H. Hilborne, MD, MPH Douglas I. Jeffe Ashley Johnson Diedre Kelly-Gordon

Barbara A. Levey, MD, FACP Julie Liker Connie Linn Al Markovitz, MD, FACP Michael McClain Kelly Chapman Meyer Robert Moverley Charlotte Neumann, MD, MPH Kenneth Ramberg Joyce Rey Brian K. Rosenstein Todd Stella Millie Sterz, RN, MPH Arthur Stickgold Jill E. Thomas David Tillipman, PhD Matthew A. Toledo

What do you think will be the biggest challenge, or opportunity, during your term? If my almost 25 years in the health care business taught me anything it’s that we most likely do not yet know what our greatest challenge or opportunity over the next few years will be. That said, we already anticipate a need to address several changes: the ongoing implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the significant numbers of individuals and families with some form of newly gained insurance coverage and the many who still do not have it, and the need for greater collaboration throughout the delivery system and safety net – these all will be very real challenges and present opportunities for Venice Family Clinic. I know that each day we will strive to better care for thousands of people who need us, and to continue shaping the future of how our underserved community accesses invaluable health care. •


Judy and Bernard Briskin Transform Women’s Health Care at Venice Family Clinic

Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Judy and Bernard Briskin, Venice Family Clinic is transforming its women’s health services over the next four years into a state of the art, integrated program that gives thousands of women and girls the quality care they deserve. Judy and Bernard Briskin are helping Venice Family Clinic (VFC)

Judy and Bernie’s rich history with Venice Family Clinic has made

undergo a momentous overhaul. Their incredible support will

them acutely aware of the needs of our community. “We’ve been

not only broaden our definition of women’s health, but integrate

exposed to Venice Family Clinic and all of the wonderful work they

critical services including behavioral health, strengthen our ability

do for decades now,” says Bernie. “VFC is important to us. There

to address women’s health disparities, ensure comprehensive

are people who have no health care whatsoever. At Venice Family

training for all providers, implement best practices while creating

Clinic, there is a high standard that identifies, accommodates, and

a women-friendly environment, and expand access to life-saving

meets the needs of each neighborhood.”

vaccines. Each step will dramatically improve care for women and girls who otherwise have nowhere else to turn. To recognize this

In 2009, the Briskins made a contribution to support women’s

historic gift, the program will be known as the Judy and Bernard

health that laid the foundation for their most recent gift. This year,

Briskin Women’s Health Care Program.

the Briskins chose to build on their legacy at Venice Family Clinic, bringing staff and board together to think about what the future

We can help them grow, stay healthy, and become strong women and mothers.

of women’s health could be. In addition, Judy and daughter Julie Briskin Harelson have generously agreed to lend their time and invaluable guidance as new members of the Venice Family Clinic Foundation Board of Trustees.

For three decades, Judy and Bernie have supported Venice

“We feel women’s health is so important, especially when a

Family Clinic’s growth and development by investing in programs,

lot of women just don’t have the money to take good care of

galvanizing fundraising efforts, sponsoring events and stimulating

themselves,” said Judy Briskin. “Quality health care needs to start

our hopes for the future. Early on, the Briskins played a crucial

at the beginning, when girls are young, and go all the way up to

role in VFC’s history when founding supporter, Irma Colen, met

adulthood. We can help them grow, stay healthy, and become

Bernie at a Beverly Hills salon. It was a match made in heaven. She

strong women and mothers. These are the people who are

inspired Bernie to introduce her to Fred Weisman. Upon meeting

bringing our children onto this earth – they deserve to be well!”

Irma, Fred immediately offered to make a $500,000 gift to create VFC’s mental health program and purchase a new building that is

Women seeking care through the Judy and Bernard Briskin

now known as the Frederick R. Weisman Family Center.

Women’s Health Care Program at Venice Family Clinic will receive integrated services from a medical team they know and trust; and

“The Briskins are a force – we literally wouldn’t be where we are

for intimate matters like health care, that makes all the difference.

today without them,” says Executive Director and CEO Liz Forer. “This forward-thinking investment reflects a long-term vision

Venice Family Clinic is enormously grateful to the Briskins for their

for Venice Family Clinic’s future, and an extraordinary gift to the

sustaining support, inspiring insight, and unwavering compassion

women we will help for years to come.”

for the people we serve. We know that their gift will enrich the lives of the women and families we serve for decades to come. •


ENCOUNTERS Winter 2015

Specializing in Quality Care Venice Family Clinic has been hard at work building a robust quality improvement program capable of addressing quality of care, patient satisfaction and process developments across the entire organization. Now, after seeing their provider, patients are able to “express check out” if they do not need further care coordination. The new system decreases wait time and enables our care coordinators to spend more time with patients who need more attention. So how do we ensure our changes are making a difference? VFC’s Chief Operations Officer Anita Zamora says that “electronic health records and population health management tools give us more data than ever before. We can identify which of our diabetic patients have gaps in care, and need to be brought in for targeted services. These tools are allowing us to move from a system of reaction to a predictive approach that will lead to better health for our patients.” Quality improvement is the systematic approach to continuously improving our health care delivery system by removing waste and decreasing variation. Simply put, it applies scientific method to test changes and make consistent improvements. “Our goal is to identify opportunities to add value,” notes Venice Family Clinic’s

For example, in March 2015, we met our target for tobacco use screening and cessation by conducting documentation trainings, integrating data, and sharing performance through monthly dashboards.

(VFC) first Quality Improvement Manager, Meghan Powers. “For an unengaged patient sitting in a waiting room, we can use the time for health education or to enroll them in our online patient portal.” Thanks to quality improvement principles, we can identify opportunities like these, do more with less, and find innovative solutions to enhance patient health outcomes. Patients at our largest sites can spend a long time waiting in the reception area. Earlier this year, to address this issue and improve our patient experience, VFC launched a Cycle Time Work Group. Through staff tested processes and interventions, our operations and clinical teams were able to identify opportunities for change. The graph below shows our progress for this year.

Our goal is to translate information into action. Each team member is becoming more skilled at viewing data, and nearly all VFC programs have dashboard reporting systems with key metrics that are reviewed regularly. Front-line staff have been trained in the basics of quality improvement methodology, and managers and supervisors participated in the UCLA Lean Academy. With continued practice, our staff will become a community of empowered scientists taking steps to improve our system of care daily. We look forward to further spreading a culture of quality improvement, and finding new ways to strengthen the services we provide. Thank you to the Resnick Family Foundation for their part in launching our quality improvement efforts, as well as Unihealth Foundation, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, and Cedars Sinai Medical Center for ensuring this crucial work can continue. •


Ensuring Strategic Services It isn’t enough to provide specialized, quality care – we have to measure our progress, too. Thanks to an extraordinary grant from Wendy Smith Meyer and Barry Meyer as well as an anonymous donor, Venice Family Clinic was able to build its first ever program management team! These four additions became instrumental partners to our clinical staff leaders, revolutionizing the way VFC approaches day-to-day operations and long-term planning.

I work with staff to further integrate behavioral health care into primary care, ensure uniformity of pediatric care across all sites, and implement operational plans to improve health outcomes and quality. For example, I’m doing a teen needs assessment to better understand what resources are out there, which will help strengthen our own adolescent services.” - Stephanie Stillings, Program Manager for Pediatric Care, Mental Health and Teens Services “My work is a combination of health insurance enrollment, and program evaluation for VFC’s homeless program. I also sit on a board that advises California about Medi-Cal. With the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, our homeless population was dramatically affected; some of these patients went from zero to full coverage! Our program data helps us constantly improve to meet our community’s needs.” - Karen Lauderbach, Program Manager for Health Insurance Enrollment and Homeless Services

Creating a “Home” for Those Who Have None This year Los Angeles

“Each day I huddle with clinic site managers to discuss items like dashboards, no-show rates, and cycle times. If we’re not meeting our goals, we look at what we can do to improve. Right now we’re focusing heavily on decreasing cycle times, reducing call center wait times, and ensuring proper referral tracking. I also make sure staff are aware of policies, and help them get the training they need to stay compliant.” - Susie Estrada, Director of Clinical Operations “My role is to work collaboratively with dental and medical leadership to guide the dental department’s operational and financial practices. I also oversee two, multi-institutional research studies that support increased access to integrative medicine services among low-income and medically underserved patients. Our data helps me inform future plans, and ensures that potential growth opportunities are purposefully approached.” - Ryan Woodson, Program Manager for Integrative Medicine, Dental and Special Clinical Projects •

local leaders and lawmakers to implement proven, cost-effective housing solutions that empower our most vulnerable, rather than punish them. The health of a homeless person improves instantly when they are housed.”

saw a 12% increase in homelessness: that’s

Take Brian Reutter for example, a Venice Family Clinic patient.

4,898 more homeless

“Due to my alcohol addiction I could barely function... I knew that

people than two years

I could not escape homelessness by myself,” said Brian. Along

ago. At Venice Family

with our partner, St. Joseph’s Center, he was able to get the

Clinic, we work to address

housing, mental health and medical care that he needed. This year,

this issue on two fronts:

Brian was selected as a Westside Coalition 2015 Success Award

by partnering with

Honoree. “I am very thankful,” he said, “because [Venice Family

local service agencies

Clinic and St. Joseph’s] are still there for me…Without them by my

to improve access to

side I would not be where I am today.”

VFC’s uniquely designed homeless health care program, and by advocating for effective

“In the face of impending severe illness, Brian found the resolve to

housing solutions.

quit drinking and has since improved his health dramatically,” said Dr. Coley King, Brian’s Venice Family Clinic doctor. “VFC provides a

“Nearly 4,000 homeless Westside Angelenos seek care at Venice

home-base for patients like Brian so they can make a lot of positive

Family Clinic,” said Elizabeth Benson Forer, Executive Director &

changes, whether in housing, physical health, addiction, social

CEO at VFC. “This population faces enormous barriers. Many local

work, or therapy. We meet people where they are, literally: in the

homeless residents, including our patients, are victimized by laws

streets, in temporary housing, at their new apartment – where they

that criminalize loitering or living in vehicles. We must work with

need us, we will go.” •


ENCOUNTERS Winter 2015

Our Annual Goals

What’s Next at Venice Family Clinic

In the coming year, Venice Family Clinic has identified four key goals to strengthen our organization’s mission and vision. Each one provides a multifaceted and inspiring direction for fiscal year 2016.


Continue to implement the Patient-Centered Medical Home concept at each health center, deepening our focus on teamwork, access to care, and care coordination.

The health care landscape and our patients’ needs are ever-changing. With each new adjustment, insight, and assessment, Venice Family Clinic’s team outlines opportunities for growth. We asked a few Venice Family Clinic leaders about what they’d like to see in the near future:

A Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) “Population management and care coordination: these are the goals I’d like to see achieved. We’ve established care teams, created team huddles, and empaneled patients,


Enhance the skills and talents of our incredible staff by investing in training and development.

which is the first stage of building a Patient-Centered Medical Home, and going the extra mile will help make sure our most vulnerable populations navigate the system to get the best quality care.” – Dr. Despina Kayichian, Chief Medical Officer

Advanced Diabetes Care “In the future, I’d like to see us bring the majority of our diabetes patients under good control with several specialized programs such as protocolized diabetes care by specially trained nurse practitioners, group visits, and using computerized algorithms for adjusting insulin doses.” – Dr. Mayer Davidson, co-founder of Venice Family Clinic and volunteer



Trauma-Informed Staff “Poverty and other stressors can cause neurobiological changes that impact health and

Create a patient retention

mental health. In many instances, our patients have gone through traumas that end up

and recruitment plan, and

increasing their risk for chronic illnesses, substance abuse, eating disorders and other

implement it.

behavioral health challenges. By training our staff to better understand how trauma impacts health, we are sending the message that a patient’s entire life is valued – not just their arthritic shoulder.” – Mimi Lind, LCSW, Director of Behavioral Health and Domestic

Violence Services


Pediatric Speech Therapy “We estimate that 15% of VFC’s young patients are in need of speech therapy. Income level is a strong factor for language development. In fact, research shows us that by age

Develop an overall data

4, children in middle- and upper-class families hear 15 million more words than children

strategy and structure to

in working class families, and 30 million more words than children on welfare. That’s why

support our goals.

we’re seeking out opportunities for support of this program. We want to ensure our young community doesn’t fall behind.” – Stacey Scarborough, Director of Children’s First/Early

Head Start


People, Places & Things 2016 Venice Art Walk Signature Artists Announced Mark your calendars for our 2016 Venice Art Walk and Auctions on May 22, 2016 featuring (drumroll please!) Signature Poster Artist Analia Saban and Signature T-Shirt Artist Guy Dill. We’re honored to celebrate these two extraordinary artists for their work and their commitment to providing health care to people in need. Federal Grants Support Expanded Services at VFC

CVS Expands Path to Health for Diabetic Patients

Venice Family Clinic received increased federal funding for

We are proud to partner

expansion of services and high quality care – including a

with CVS Health to

$650,000 New Access Point grant for the Simms/Mann Health

improve care for 2,500

& Wellness Center, a $300,206 Expanded Services grant

diabetic patients at VFC by expanding our Pharmacy Diabetes

for the Lou Colen Children’s Health and Wellness Center,

Care Clinic. Pharmacy staff will offer integrated supportive

and a $369,622 Health Infrastructure grant to renovate our

services tailored to patient needs, including personalized

Robert Levine Family Health Center. Venice Family Clinic

care and counseling twice per week, thanks to CVS Health’s

also received $97,843 in 2016 Affordable Care Act funds that

$15,000 investment.

reward high quality care for being a Clinical Quality Improver, Health Center Quality Leader and Access Enhancer!

Fall Field Trip: Silver Lake Architecture Tour Attendees of Venice Art Walk’s legendary

Artist Brad Howe Welcomes Art Walk Angels

Architecture Tours

Acclaimed sculptor and

traveled across town

long-time Venice Art

to visit some of Silver

Walk favorite Brad Howe

Lake’s architectural

generously opened up his

gems, designed and

studio for a very special Master Class that gave Venice Art Walk Angels the chance to fabricate their very own one-of-a-kind sculptures. Many thanks to Brad and his team, and our Venice Art Walk Angels who come together to underwrite more than 3,000 patient visits each year!

renovated by Escher GuneWardena, Tom Marble, Marmol Radziner and Rudolph Schindler. Special thanks as well to homeowners, Jeff Snyder & Cameron Silver, Joy Kerin & Jerry Conrad, Brad Kembel & Jimmy Ferrareze and Tim Tattu. Don’t forget to Save the Date

for our Hancock Park Architecture Tour on March 12, 2016. Tickets available at

Providence Saint John’s Funds Critical Gaps in Services Thank you to Providence Saint John’s Health Center for their generous gift of $809,598, which will support care for the homeless, create a specialty care hub for low-income people on the Westside of Los Angeles, and fund equipment and services for adolescent patients across all of our health centers, with a special focus on services at Safe Place for Youth (SPY).


604 Rose Avenue, Venice, CA 90291 P 310.664.7910 F 310.396.3279 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

In Memory of Venice Family Clinic’s recently departed supporters Cecile Bartman, Robert Chartoff, Robert Feldman, Dr. William Frumovitz, Joe Goldenberg, Roland B. Herman, Bernard Heumann, Jerome Janger, Manuel Krupin, Arthur Laub, John Liebes, Jodi Nathanson, David Richards, William Rosensweig, Tom Taplin, Eva Vollmer, Fred Zufryden

Anthem Blue Cross Presents

DONATE NOW! Help us raise $140,000 to provide health care and holiday cheer to 10,000 infants, children and teens in need.


Encounters Winter 2015  

Specializing in Quality Care

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