Redwood Coast Medical Services (RCMS) is a community health center designated as a "Federally Qualified Health Center" or FQHC. As an FQHC, RCMS is funded in part under Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act. The FQHC program provides for cost-based reimbursement under Medicare and MediCal for legislatively specified services in medically underserved area. FQHCs began as the Community Health Centers and Migrant Health Centers of the 1960s and 1970s focusing on primary care, health education and prevention.
In addition to providing comprehensive health care services, FQHCs are required to offer supportive services to promote culturally appropriate access to care for all in the community. A sliding fee scale ensures that no one is turned away because of an inability to pay. FQHCs are held to strict standards for performance and accountability regarding administrative, clinical and financial operations.
As an FQHC, RCMS is governed by a community board, and a majority of the members of that Board are required to be patients of RCMS so that they can adequately represent those patients who receive care at our health center.
One of the reasons that FQHCs are able to provide health care at a lower cost than other healthcare organizations is due to the fact that they benefit from the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) which provides RCMS and other FQHCs with malpractice insurance coverage at a below-market rate. Our health center receives HHS funding and has Federal PHS deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals.
Our Mission & Vision
The mission of Redwood Coast Medical Services (RCMS) is to provide high quality, family-oriented, community based primary medical and dental care, including a broad range of preventive health services to residents and visitors within the coastal areas of Southern Mendocino and Northern Sonoma Counties.
RCMS is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 health center providing a full range of healthcare services at its three clinics located in Gualala and Point Arena. Services are designed to meet identified needs of the community services, are integrated with other existing healthcare services and systems, and are evaluated on a regular basis to assure that community health needs are being met.
As a not-for-profit corporation receiving public funds, RCMS provides services to qualified permanent area residents on a sliding fee scale basis, as well as to patients with MediCal and Medicare coverage, private insurance and self pay status.
RCMS opened in 1977, incorporated and licensed as a community clinic in 1978 and was designated in 1999 as a Federal Community Health Center 330(e). RCMS is designated by the state as an Interim Stabilization Facility, allowing the clinic to receive ambulance transports.
The RCMS service area is designated by California as one of a total of 56 Rural Frontier Medical Service Study Areas (MSSA) as well as a primary medical care professional shortage area (HPSA). As the sole provider of primary healthcare services, RCMS provides medical and behavioral health services, dental care, and a senior/geriatric case management program (Living Well) that includes expanded care such as hospice, respite and bereavement support.
Since its inception, RCMS has played an integral role in the community and has a well-documented track record of developing programs to meet stated community needs. In turn, the notable success of community fundraising events and campaigns netting approximately $200,000 annually, is a testament to the value the community places on RCMS.
The Health Alliance of Northern California (HANC) is a network of community clinics and health centers working to promote the health and well-being of our communities in rural, Northern California.
HANC clinics and partners work together to expand access to quality health care – including physical, mental health, and dental care – and improve health outcomes for all people, regardless of their ability to pay. HANC exists to assist and support our member clinics in their mission to improve community health and to promote and preserve community-based health care in our rural area.
HANC’s member organizations include twelve Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC’s), and one Rural Health Clinic across Northern California. In total, HANC consists of 13 member organizations and 36 clinical sites, serving roughly 135,000 patients throughout the region.
California Primary Care Association (CPCA)CPCA is the state's leading advocacy group for health centers. CPCA monitors state and federal legislation that will provide opportunities and create challenges to the system of care. Representing more than 600 not-for-profit community health centers statewide, CPCA is recognized by legislators and other policymakers as a crucial source of information about community health issues.
RCMS is a rural health center with a federal charter requiring us to treat every patient, regardless of his or her ability to pay. That's our mission and one we willingly accept. But it is also costly. While government grants, reimbursements from Medicare, MediCal, and private insurance help defray some of our costs, we must rely on financial contributions from individuals and organizations to run our operations and expand programs.
The RCMS medical and dental clinics in Gualala and Point Arena could not operate without the generosity of this community.
Our Board of Directors
The RCMS Board of Directors is community-based and all volunteer. Board meetings are held monthly. The meetings take place on the second Tuesday of every month from 5-7 PM at the Elaine acobe Center located at 38550 S. Hwy 1, Gualala.
RCMS 2019 Board Members
Vanessa Ignacio, Chair
Don Kemp, Vice-Chair
Alex Long, Treasurer
Richard Schimbor, Secretary
Carolynn Abst, Nicolas Epanchin, Barbara Fast, Ken Gibson, Alex Long, Sophia Mitchell, Gabriel Ramirez, Donna Yates-Johnson