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Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo Secures $7.8 Million State Investment to Expand ViaCare's East Los Angeles Medical and Dental Clinic

For immediate release:
Wendy Carrillo (AD-52)

LOS ANGELES (March 17, 2023) — Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) commemorated the $7.8 million state investment to expand Via Care’s Cesar Chavez Health Center, a community-serving medical and dental clinic in East Los Angeles. This investment will expand healthcare access to undocumented and mixed-status families and socioeconomically disadvantaged residents, most of whom receive healthcare through Medi-Cal. Together with Via Care’s leadership and former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, this transformational budget appropriation from the State of California will be a substantial investment in the health and wellbeing of the community and provide much needed comprehensive health and supportive services with dignity. At full capacity, the new health center will serve over 7,800 unique low-income patients through 36,000 visits annually.

“Via Care is truly a shining beacon in East Los Angeles, providing quality, dignified healthcare to those most in need for 13 years,” said Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo. “Via Care provides a lifeline to thousands of socioeconomically disadvantaged residents across our region, who only have limited resources at their disposal. In response to this growing need in medical treatment, Via Care has remained a trusted and visible partner, especially throughout the pandemic. Their staff has repeatedly proven their devotion to providing the highest quality care to this community, and have never stopped providing services throughout Via Care’s various locations. I was honored to fight for this appropriation in the State Assembly and I am proud to deliver for this great organization.”

“Via Care is honored that Assemblywoman Carrillo championed the $7.8 member request to ensure that our presence in this beautiful corridor of east Los Angeles would enable us to deliver comprehensive services for a community that has few options to access health care,” said Via Care CEO Deborah Villar. “This funding positions Via Care for ownership and the opportunity to envision a commitment to offering quality health care to the community in perpetuity.”

Today, more than 20 percent—and rising—of Los Angeles County residents receive their sole health and dental care through community clinics, relying on these clinics’ accessibility, affordability, convenience and culturally sensitive services. Via Care has a higher percentage of undocumented individuals among its patient populations than any other health center serving East Los Angeles. In 2021, it served 4,226 undocumented patients, which is 25% of its total patient population, a number that has more than tripled since 2015. Additionally, Via Care is one of only three clinics in Los Angeles County that opted to serve the re-entry community through the Whole Person Care pilot. Via Care's strategy and model are aligned with the future of healthcare in communities, such as East Los Angeles, and the resources made possible by today’s funding announcement will allow Via Care to further invest in these facilities and healthcare delivery systems that work.

“Via Care has been on the frontlines of the COVID Pandemic and is an important safety net provider of healthcare on the east side,” said Former Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa. “This capital allocation authored by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo will ensure that patients have a permanent facility that they can depend on for their much-needed care.”

Via Care currently operates a total of 13 clinics and health centers throughout East Los Angeles, with a focus on helping the most vulnerable members of the community, which in addition to undocumented immigrants, also includes recently incarcerated and LGBTQ individuals obtain quality healthcare.                    

Healthcare Statistics: 

  • Currently, there are more than 240,000 low-income children and adults in East Los Angeles who are without a medical home.  
  • ViaCare serves all community members regardless of their ability to pay and regardless of their health, insurance, employment or immigration status. 
  • ViaCare welcomes people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations. 

LA County Department of Public Health 2018 East LA Health Profile Statistics

  • East Los Angeles population is approx. 128,000 and 97% Latino
  • Average annual income is $39k, 53% of the population has less than a high school education. 
  • 7% of children under 17 years of age have asthma compared to 3% in other communities  
  • 28% of families experience food insecurity compared to other 11% in other communities 
  • 28% of adults 18+ are obese compared to 6% in other communities 
  • 9% of adults 18+ have diabetes compared to 4% in other communities
  • 52% of households spend 30% of their income on housing compared to 33% in other communities


Additional Quotes:

Via Care’s commitment to providing high-quality, affordable, and culturally competent healthcare has been an incredible benefit to our community.  I am delighted by the appropriation of $7.8 million, which ensures that Via Care remains a permanent mainstay within the area and continues its mission of providing the best possible care and services to residents.  Thank you and congratulations to Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo, Deborah Villar and all who have made this possible.

 John A. Pérez

Speaker Emeritus, California State Assembly

“We want to thank Assemblymember Carrillo for her steadfast advocacy of Via Care and her leadership in helping us secure this transformative funding grant. I know everyone on our team is beyond excited about the future of Via Care, and we can’t wait to start building the state-of-the-art community clinic of the future.”

         John Donner

         Chair, Board of Directors of Via Care


“Via Care's board of directors was founded by community members with the firm belief that East Los Angeles deserves high quality health care as a human right. This historic investment is a huge milestone for a healthy East Los Angeles and is the result of years of efforts to revolutionize community medicine.”


         Devon Rios

         Member, Board of Directors of Via Care 



Assemblywoman Carrillo was elected to serve in the State Assembly in December 2017. She represents the 52nd Assembly District, which includes the City of Los Angeles and South Glendale. She serves as the Chair of the Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration, in addition to the Assembly Committees on Appropriations, Health, Housing and Community Development, Utilities and Energy, Budget Subcommittee No. 6 on Budget Process, Oversight and Program Evaluation, and the Joint Committees on Legislative Budget, and Climate Change Policies. She also serves as the Chair of the Select Committee on Latina Inequities, Vice Chair of the Legislative Progressive Caucus, as a Commissioner for the California Film Commission and serves on the California Cultural and Historical Endowment Board.