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SalvationSanta Cruz community clinics and health centers.

Residents of Santa Cruz County can turn to community clinics for affordable, or maybe even free, medical and dental care. A number of non-profit clinics and government health centers can assist the least fortunate and underserved in the community. Some of the main locations in the region are below.

Most of the centers will offer some form of sliding fee or variable rate billing to qualified patients. Those individuals with the lowest income may receive their health care for free or at a minimal cost. Assistance is also fairly wide ranging and can include dental care (in particular for children), medications, and services for newborns and infants. If a community clinic can't meet your needs they can often refer patients to nearby specialists in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Women's Health Center focuses on the needs of females and children in the community. Among other services, the center provides family practice medical care. This is fairly wide ranging and can include gynecological care, family planning, women's health services, perinatal and pediatric services. While not as common, some of the other health care available can include chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathy, pregnancy testing and the clinic may even distribute birth control methods. They will also coordinate the testing and treatment for lesbian health services, sexually transmitted diseases, and chronic disease care. Children can also receive physicals and more. Location is 250 Locust Street, Santa Cruz, California, 95060. Call 831-427-3500

Watsonville Community Hospital may provide some basic services on a sliding fee scale. This can include emergency assistance and lab work. Also access a pharmacy and imaging services. Resources are also offered for seniors. The Santa Cruz hospital will also accept so called surrendered infants up to 72 hours old under California's Safely Surrendered Baby Law. Call for more information on sliding fees or charity care. Location is 75 Nielson Street, Watsonville, CA, 95076. Main number is 831-724-4741.

Free medical care can be provided to qualified patients from the Rotacare Santa Cruz Clinic. It is available for people who are most at risk and who don't have any other access to affordable or free health medical care. The community clinic works with a number of other centers in the region, including non-profit hospitals, doctors, and other medical providers. Staff also partner with non-profit and social service organizations in Santa Cruz County. Call 831-457-7166.




Planned Parenthood Mar Monte of Watsonville. This health center offers free or low cost and confidential reproductive health care for both men and women. In addition they will try to coordinate family planning for people of all ages. Some examples of the reproductive health services offered include pregnancy testing and more.

Some of the primary care services offered include diabetes screening, anemia testing, cholesterol screening, and physicals. Examples of the basic services are flu vaccinations as well as high blood pressure screening and smoking cessation programs.

The medical center is at 398 S. Green Valley Road, Watsonville, CA, 95076. Call 831-786-2000. Or stop by the alternate location at 1119 Pacific Avenue, Suite 200 Santa Cruz, California, 95060. Telephone number is 831-460-3100.

Dientes Community Dental Care may offer assistance on a sliding fee scale to both the under insured and people who are lacking health insurance. The center provides patients with a full range of services including exams & X-rays, cleanings and fluoride treatments. Or get access to sealants, fillings, and dental crowns (if needed). Extractions and surgery may even be offered. Or get referrals to specialists. 1830 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz, CA, 95065. Call 831-464-5409.

Salud Para La Gente is a community clinic that offers comprehensive primary health care to the low income in northern Monterey County as well as Santa Cruz County. The location offers comprehensive listing of medical services including teen clinics, pediatrics, family medicine and internal care. Or access obstetrics and gynecology, health screenings, family planning and comprehensive perinatal services. 302 Riverside Avenue, Santa Cruz, California, 95060. Call 831-728-0222.





Public Health Department of Santa Cruz County has several locations in the region. The main phone number is 831-454-2080, or call a nearby center below. The government may be able to provide a wide range of services to indigent and/or homeless individuals. Medical services provided include benefits advocacy, information & referrals to other vital services, MediCare application assistance, alcohol and drug counseling and support, HIV testing, hygiene supplies and case management. All services are offered for free and are also confidential.

  • Coral Street Clinic, 115-A Coral St., Santa Cruz, (831) 454-2080
  • Santa Cruz Emeline Health Center, 1080 Emeline Ave., Santa Cruz, call (831) 454-4100
  • Watsonville Crestview Health Center, 9 Crestview, Watsonville, (831) 763-8400
  • Santa Cruz Women's Health Center, 250 Locust St., Santa Cruz, call (831) 427-3500
  • Planned Parenthood (Westside Clinic), 1119 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, California, phone (831) 426-5550
  • Planned Parenthood (Clinical Mariposa), 40 Penny Lane, Watsonville, telephone (831) 724-7525
  • Oral Health Care, 1830 Commercial Way, Santa Cruz, California, (831) 464-5409

Salud Para La Gente is for students, teenagers and underinsured children under the age of 18. They can get full access to medical, vision and dental services including physicals, immunizations, health screenings, and access to help for the treatment of minor injuries. Eye exams and diagnostic lab testing is offered too. Children may also get access to dental services including restorative services, routine exams preventive care and x-rays. Address is 440 Arthur Road, Classroom A Watsonville, CA, 95076. Dial 831-818-8398





By Jon McNamara











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