In 1973, Siskiyou Community Health Center (SCHC) began as the Takilma Peoples Clinic in the Illinois Valley. After a medical crisis in the community, volunteer residents of the Illinois Valley turned an old farmhouse into a community health center. Dr. Jim Shames came from Multnomah County Health Department to train local volunteers. His plan was to only stay for a few months, but he ended up moving to the valley and served as SCHC’s Medical Director until 2003.
In 1987, the Longwood Fire forced them to evacuate and they had to move to a new building in Cave Junction. They began expanding and a few years later the Takilma Peoples Clinic became known as Siskiyou Community Health Center. In the 1990’s, the clinic became a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), offering services to anyone, regardless of their financial condition.
In 1997, SCHC merged with Our Valley Clinic and Gateway Dental Clinic in Grants Pass. They built up these services to FQHC level.
Then, in 2001, community volunteers and the board of directors embarked on a building program at the north end of Cave Junction to replace its outgrown medical facility. In early 2007, this new 10,000 square foot medical facility opened its doors to patients. It includes a state-of-the-art lab and radiology facility operated by Asante Health System.
In 2010, SCHC added a pharmacy and a laboratory inside their Grants Pass medical clinic. However, the demand for their services increased and it was time to expand again in order to accommodate the growing needs of the community. In January of 2012, they moved to the first LEED-certified green building in Grants Pass. They occupy 20,000 square feet of the new 34,000 square foot building. Located at 1701 N.W. Hawthorne Avenue, SCHC offers primary medical care for the entire family, a pharmacy, behavioral health services, laboratory services and Outreach program.
SCHC continues to follow its mission to build healthy communities by providing an affordable solution for quality health care. It now operates medical clinics in Grants Pass and Cave Junction. They have three School-Based Health Centers in Cave Junction that provide children with primary health care and health education. They have a dental clinic in Grants Pass and a mobile unit called the CareVan that services individuals in rural Josephine County who find it difficult to travel to Grants Pass to see a dentist.
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