FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE)- Two new health centers are coming to underserved communities in Fresno in the next two years.
“We have one of the highest rates of asthma, we have one of the highest fatalities in births of African Americans,” said Golden Westside Planning Community Chair Debbie Darden.
For years, the residents of Fresno zip codes 93702, 93705, and 93706 have asked for more health care resources.
Instead, Darden said health centers have moved up north and factories, highways, and pollution have moved in.
“Those are the kinds of things that the communities didn’t ask for,” said Darden. “We were the target to have those things come.”
“The zip code of 93706 the life expectancy is 20 years less in southwest Fresno than it is in north Fresno,” said Councilmember Miguel Arias.
“The poverty here in this area is 44%,” said Fresno Councilmember Luis Chavez.
The COVID-19 Pandemic hit the three zip codes even harder, which Chavez said houses over 40,000 residents that qualify for medical assistance but don’t use it.
“We have a lot of folks that have heart conditions, diabetes, asthma,” said Chavez. “So this is really going to be a godsend project.”
In 2020, congress passed the $2 trillion CARES Package and $92 million went to the city of Fresno.
$10 million then went to fund two United Health Centers. One will be built near Edison High School and one will be near Calwa Elementary.
Deputy CEO of United Health Centers Justin Preas said everyone who comes in will be helped no matter their financial status.
“There is no one that comes through our doors that is not seen or turned away based on their ability to afford services,” said Preas.
The two facilities will cost around $19 million to build and will have a number of services including dental, and medical. The city and centers will work together to provide transportation to those in need.