Venice Family Clinic and South Bay Family Health Care, which have together provided more than a century of health care to L.A. County residents in need, announced today that they have completed their merger and will move forward as a single organization.

Operating under the name of Venice Family Clinic, the nonprofit community health center is expanding the scope and comprehensiveness of its services to the 45,000 patients the two organizations serve and to people without care in their combined service areas stretching from the Santa Monica Mountains through the South Bay.

“The need for more comprehensive health care and greater access to that care has never been clearer,” said Venice Family Clinic CEO Elizabeth Benson Forer, who will lead the merged organization. “This merger comes during a global public health crisis of historic scale, and at a time when communities throughout Los Angeles are wrestling with the consequences of inequities in access to health care and in the delivery of that care. Venice Family Clinic and South Bay Family Health Care have been longtime allies in the fight to overcome health care disparities and, together as one organization, we will continue to provide access to high-quality health care for people in need, build health equity and deliver better outcomes for our patients and the communities we serve.”

Each health center has been providing care for more than 50 years, growing to serve neighboring areas extending from Malibu to Torrance and overlapping in Inglewood and Hawthorne. The health centers’ leadership teams worked together for many years to better serve these areas, and their ongoing collaboration informed the decision to merge operations.

“We share the same mission, values and commitment to delivering care with compassion, dignity and respect,” said Jann Hamilton Lee, who has served as the CEO of South Bay Family Health Care and will now serve as a senior executive of the merged organization until her retirement in December. “By merging, we will advance our shared mission of providing high-quality health care to people regardless of their ability to pay, insurance or immigration status. Most importantly, we will be able to do more together for our patients than the two organizations could do separately, and that is what makes this merger so exciting.”

Patients of both health centers can expect the same high-quality care they currently enjoy with the same providers and at the same locations. At the same time, the unified organization will be able to build on and expand innovative programs that increase access to care and make patients and the community healthier. For example, Venice Family Clinic plans to expand its pioneering street medicine program, which provides health care to people experiencing homelessness, to the South Bay.

“Each of us has a proud legacy of caring for our communities, and we will apply what’s best from each one to create a stronger unified organization,” said Forer. “Building on those legacies, we plan to expand our care to help people whose needs remain unmet.”

Submitted by Laura Mecoy