Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) opened the doors this week to its newest health center, which is named in honor of Congressman George Miller and his wife, Cynthia Miller.
CCHS named the new outpatient facility after the Millers as a tribute to their decades of service improving the health of the community and supporting health care reform. The George & Cynthia Miller Wellness Center, located on the campus of CCHS’ Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, is the tenth health center operated by the county health system. A dedication ceremony will be held on May 12.
The George & Cynthia Miller Wellness Center is an example of health reform taking shape on the local level by improving access to care and integrating behavioral and physical health care, said Dr. William Walker, CCHS Director.
“Contra Costa Health Services is dedicating this wellness center to the Millers for their steadfast and vigorous advocacy to bring about health care reform and improve mental health services in Contra Costa County,” Walker said. “This new facility is called a wellness center to reflect the fact that it offers more than just physical care. The focus is on treating the whole person by integrating physical and behavioral health care under one roof.”
Cynthia Miller has been a longtime supporter of children’s mental health programs and has served on the Mental Health Commission of Contra Costa County and the Contra Costa Regional Medical Center’s Ethics Committee. Congressman Miller, who is retiring after 40 years in office, has been a champion of national health reform and is one of original authors of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The Millers said they are honored by this recognition and thrilled that this new center will offer a new integrated approach to health services for Contra Costa residents. Congressman Miller said he had two goals when he took office 40 years ago: end the Vietnam War and pass universal health care.
“With the Affordable Care Act now helping millions in California and around the country purchase quality, affordable health insurance, I’m proud to be leaving Congress with both goals accomplished,” Congressman Miller said. “It wasn’t easy, but we achieved health reform with the support of communities like ours here in Contra Costa and throughout the East Bay. The wellness center will offer coordinated care to those who need it most, and my wife and I couldn’t be more proud to be associated with it.”
The 10,000-square-foot George & Cynthia Miller Wellness Center is expected to receive about 70,000 outpatient visits annually. The facility will offer primary care, pediatrics, group medical visits and same-day appointments. Behavioral health services at the site will include psychiatry, short-term individual and family therapy, outpatient care for substance abuse, support groups, and crisis management and referral into long-term treatment for children and adults.
The wellness center is the second of the county’s 10 health centers to integrate physical and behavioral health services. CCHS opened its first such health center in Concord last year. Cynthia Miller thanked the mental health advocacy community for making behavioral health care a priority.
“The dedication of my friends and colleagues throughout Contra Costa who made mental health care a priority for this county is manifested in this wellness center,” Cynthia Miller said.
Local elected officials and health leaders will gather to celebrate the opening of the George & Cynthia Miller Wellness Center from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 12 in front of the Wellness Center at 25 Allen Street.
Speakers at the event will include Congressman Miller, Congressman Mike Thompson, Contra Costa County Supervisors John Gioia and Karen Mitchoff, CCHS Director Dr. William Walker, and Regional Medical Center and Health Centers Chief Executive Officer Anna Roth.
For more information about the George & Cynthia Miller Wellness Center, visit cchealth.org/centers