One Community Health, your nonprofit community health center in Sacramento.
In response to the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, our community joined forces to address the epidemic in a resounding way. Community advocates, along with the help of UC Davis Health Systems, CHW Mercy, Sutter Health, and the County of Sacramento, formed the Center for AIDS Research, Education and Services (CARES) to serve people with HIV/AIDS in 1989. A few years later, Kaiser Permanente joined the effort. These early founders set the tone not only for who we were in 1989, but also for all the years to come.
For more than two decades we devoted ourselves to the cause and care of people with HIV/AIDS. These efforts often extended well beyond the walls of our facilities and beyond basic medical services. We enrolled people in research studies to help improve treatment of the deadly disease. We advocated for needle exchange programs as a preventive social service. We battled for social justice, supporting equality for everyone, regardless of their personal choices and behaviors. With our help, old wounds were healed between gay men and those in the religious community, and people were reconnected with the families that had previously rejected them. From the beginning, we were committed to the whole person—not just the snapshot of the person who showed up in an exam room.
As HIV research and care progressed, those infected were assured that they could live a normal life span. What was once an epidemic, became a chronic disease. As an organization rooted in our community, it was essential that we continue to grow and change with it. This meant helping people manage their co-morbidities, which sometimes included substance abuse and mental health issues, as well as diabetes, hypertension, Hepatitis C, and asthma. We became primary care providers, treating the whole person, not just HIV.
In 2010, with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, we embarked on our biggest change of all—opening our clinic to everyone in need of care, not just those living with HIV/AIDS. In 2011, we began seeing family members of our HIV positive patients. In 2015, we continued our journey of expanded care by becoming a Federally Qualified Health Center. This designation meant we provided coordinated and comprehensive primary and preventive services to our community, regardless of ability to pay.
The change in the disease status of our patients does not, nor will it ever, change our essential values nor our commitment to caring for those that are impacted with HIV/AIDS in our community. Whether CARES or One Community Health, our organization still pushes for equality for all, and for social justice for those on the margins. Our doctors and healthcare professionals continue to treat people with compassion, regardless of their personal choices and behavior. We still provide the same menu of services to everyone in need, and we continue to advocate for public awareness of such issues as the stigma surrounding mental illness and the need for universal healthcare. We understand the impact of trauma on one’s health and are working to help people heal those wounds. When we see suffering, we try to heal it whether it be an individual in pain or a group in our community.
The Center for AIDS Research, Education & Services (CARES) is established by community advocates, along with the help of UC Davis Health Systems, CHW Mercy, Sutter Health, and the County of Sacramento to combat the AIDS epidemic and serve people living with HIV/AIDS.
CARES dedicates itself not only to the care of people with HIV/AIDS but to ending transmission of the disease. These efforts often extended well beyond the walls of our facilities and beyond basic medical services.
The Affordable Care Act passes, and the clinic begins to open its doors to everyone in need of care, not just those living with HIV/AIDS.
CARES begins seeing family members of our HIV positive patients.
CARES becomes a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike, providing comprehensive primary health services to all, regardless of ability to pay.
Cares Community Health becomes a full-fledged Federally Qualified Health Center, becoming eligible to receive federal grant funding as we continued to expand health services to the greater Sacramento area.
Cares Community Health becomes One Community Health in order to better reflect their commitment to accessible healthcare for all in the greater Sacramento region.
For over thirty years, One Community Health has provided care to people living with HIV/AIDS.
Watch our brief video to learn about the values that have shaped us and inform who we are today.