12 The County of Monterey Health Department is turning 100 and even its youngest bureau is delivering impressive results. The Clinic Services Bureau, established in 1995, has become a, “dominant primary care provider in the county of Monterey,” said Bureau chief Prashant Shinde. After the Fort Ord military base and its hospital closed in 1994, the County of Monterey Health Department (MCHD) filled this urgent need with its own clinic system. Of course, this began with just one clinic: a humble rented trailer in a Seaside parking lot. Soon after Seaside’s clinic began, a location in Marina opened. The clinics next expanded to Salinas, first with a center in East Alisal. In 2015 six MCHD clinics began operating from Natividad Medical Center. In 2019, the clinic system reached another milestone: achieving official federally qualified health center status and federal funding. Shinde explained this distinction further expands the clinic in its mission to be a medical resource for everyone. Part of the bureau’s mission statement includes goals “to focus on supporting and caring for the most vulnerable within the community” and “provide high quality healthcare to all those unable to find it elsewhere, regardless of ability to pay.” The county’s clinic system operates on a sliding-fee scale, depending on the size and income of the patient’s family unit. Patients do not need to be residents of Monterey County, or to hold health insurance, said Shinde. About seven percent of patients at the county’s clinics are uninsured. Medi-Cal patients comprise the majority at 80 percent of patients. Medicare patients make up eight percent, and those with employer- insurance comprise five percent. “(Clinic Services is) a medical home for the entire family,” Shinde said. Today the ten MCHD clinics that form the Clinic Services bureau employ 342 people with a budget of $55 million. Alisal Health Center, Clinic Services 1980 1980s An investment in the Health Promotion department creates a buzz, receiving significant grant funding and national recognition for work on anti-tobacco campaigns and awareness around seatbelts and car seats featuring commercials with Clint Eastwood