Blog Contribution: Sylvia Hacaj, Director, Development & Communications, LifeLong Medical Care
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, LifeLong has leveraged trust built over four and half decades to assist those people who have been hit hardest. As of earlier this month, LifeLong had fully vaccinated 21,903 people (That’s more than the seating capacity of Chase Center!) and administered 32,782 COVID tests; 9,335 of those doses and 6,643 of those tests took place in East Oakland, which includes some of the most underserved zip codes in the entire Bay Area.
LifeLong is preparing to break ground in July of this year on a new health center in East Oakland at 10605 Foothill Blvd., just around the corner from where our current health center is located. This is a continuation of our commitment to this neighborhood which stretches back to the late 1980’s when the head of Oakland’s Department on Aging asked us to bring our original Over 60 Health Center concept from Berkeley to Oakland. And we did so with our first space at the Edes Senior Center
Our East Oakland services expanded with the inclusion of OakCare Medical Group’s Hegenberger Practice, a group of Highland Hospital physicians also dedicated to ensuring health care access to all. We moved to our current facility at Foothill Square Shopping Center twenty-five years ago under our more expansive mission: to offer the same great healthcare we had been providing to seniors when we were only known as Over 60 Health Center to people of all ages in more of the East Bay as LifeLong Medical Care. It was also the first of our health centers to include a Wellness Center, allowing us to incorporate yoga, meditation, healthy cooking, and even a rooftop vegetable garden for an integrated approach to health.
With the support of the Alameda Department of Public Health, and through the determination, compassion, and leadership of Dr. Barbara Towner, one of the first LifeLong providers to serve East Oakland and LifeLong’s former Chief Medical Officer, and Dominica Zone, now the center director, the East Oakland practice grew. It included an adult day health center for disabled adults run by LifeLong’s now Director of Geriatric Services, Kathryn Stambaugh. Over time, LifeLong’s East Oakland Health Center became known for caring for adults with very complex health issues, and for special programming related to asthma, frequent utilization, Care Neighborhoods, and more.
In 2008, Dr. Howard Daniel was 78 years old and still delivering babies when he asked LifeLong Medical Care to take on his large OB-GYN practice, also located in East Oakland. At that time, he had already been serving the neighborhood for 45 years. His office and practice became part of LifeLong, and he and his wife Sally became providers at our Howard Daniel Health Center. Dr. Daniel is representative of the community of African American physicians who worked for decades to ensure everyone, particularly African Americans, received the quality care they deserved.
Today, our Howard Daniel Health Center continues his tradition, providing pre- and post-natal care, and other health services for women. It also offers primary care, behavioral health services, health education, and social services for adults and children. Dozens of photos of generations of children delivered and cared for by this practice line the walls.
LifeLong’s new health center in East Oakland will bring these two established practices together in a brand-new facility to offer a continuum of care encompassing prenatal through geriatrics. And, with this new facility, we will be able to expand our offerings at East Oakland to include dental care. We look forward to welcoming patients by the end of 2023.
At LifeLong Medical Care’s Annual Gala March 26, 2022 at the Marriot Oakland City Center, we will be kicking off a $2.5 million dollar fundraising campaign. For the expectant moms, kids, and adults of all ages whose health care home in 2023 will be our new East Oakland Health Center, we know all too well that the care they received can be life-changing and sometimes even lifesaving.
Learn more about LifeLong Medical Care HERE.