A Healthy Community

While Marin County is largely an idyllic place to live, it contains communities where the economic disparity is particularly jarring. Community Health Hubs are a community-driven attempt to address some of the fallout from that gap. The Hubs — the first opened in 2013 at Marin Community Clinic’s (MCC) Novato location, the second last August in the Canal area of San Rafael — provide physical, psychological and economic support in the neighborhoods where they’re based. The Novato Hub offers food to more than 300 households per week; activities like yoga; and monthly diabetes, hypertension and obesity screenings (and referrals) — all of it free to low-income residents. “The Community Health Hub is a unique and wonderful example of a partnership between three key Marin nonprofits: LIFT-Levántate, the Marin Community Clinics and the San Francisco/Marin Food Bank,” says Richard Waxman, executive director of LIFT-Levántate. The most important aspect of the Health Hubs, he adds, is the receptive, positive environment; with services that are entirely multicultural and multilingual, the Hubs transform a clinic visit into a neighborhood event. “We want the community to see MCC as their ‘health home,’” says Linda Tavaszi, CEO of MCC. “Many are more receptive to health education and screening in a familiar environment.” marinclinic.org