Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo Secures $17.2M Investment in State Budget to Assist Development of Social Services and Mental Health Center at Clinica Romero

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  • Francisco Quintana
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Wendy Carrillo (AD-51)

 

LOS ANGELES, CA – Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) commemorated the signing of a $17.2M state investment in the 2022-23 State Budget to assist the Clínica Monseñor Oscar A. Romero (Clínica Romero) in developing a full scope social services and health center to address the physical and mental health needs of marginalized communities in the Los Angeles region. The new center, conceptually referred to as Centro Alaxik, will focus on individual wellness through trauma informed care that takes a multigenerational approach focused on cultural healing and community. 

“This funding comes thirty years after the signing of El Salvador’s peace agreement following a bloody, twelve-year civil war. Los Angeles is home to the largest Salvadoran community in the United States outside of the country of El Salvador and the loss of life, displacement, economic ruin and generational trauma has never been fully addressed.” said Assemblywoman Carrillo. “This state investment, which will build out a full scope social services and health center, will go a long way in addressing the long-ignored physical and mental health needs of our Central American immigrant community in LA.”

“The development of Centro Alaxik will provide a comprehensive set of services to thousands of low-income residents in my district, and I am proud to have been a part of the effort to secure its funding.” 

Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo is the only Salvadoran-born legislator in California who immigrated to the United States as a child without legal status fleeing the civil war. In 2018, in her first year in office, Assemblywoman Carrillo co-led a delegation to El Salvador with Assembly Speaker, Anthony Rendon. In 2019, Assemblywoman Carrillo accompanied Governor Gavin Newsom to El Salvador for his first international trip. Both trips aimed to study and recognized the reasons for increased migration from the country to the United States including the rise of migration from unaccompanied minors. 

The funding is part of the solution to address concerns and will focus on developing a full scope social services and health center to address the physical and mental health needs of marginalized communities in the Los Angeles region. The new center, conceptually referred to as Centro Alaxik, will focus on individual wellness through trauma informed care that takes a multigenerational approach focused on community. 

Clínica Romero’s patients include a large indigenous population from Southern Mexico, Guatemala, and other Central American countries who speak one of several Mesoamerican languages, and who in many instances, are not familiar with or have limited experience with Western medicine. 

The types of services offered by Centro Alaxik will include, but are not limited to, individual and group counseling, culturally sensitive family therapy, medical and legal services, bilingual services, and co-location of services. The initial start-up funds requested in this proposal will support the purchase of the building, required alteration/renovation to ensure building safety, and hiring of staff for 12 months, while Clínica Romero brings the site into its federal, state, and county contracts that will provide sustainable funding through a cost reimbursement model. 

“Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo has not only been a friend to Clínica Romero but a champion of immigrants who use our services,” said Carlos Vaquerano, CEO of Clínica Romero. “We cannot thank her enough for her support and leadership. This new funding will allow us to not only treat individual patients, but also take a comprehensive approach to mental health care and its effect on their families. Centro Alaxik is going to change and improve our patients’ and our community’s quality of life.”

Today, 38 years after its inception, Clínica Romero continues to provide health care and other services to the people across the Greater Los Angeles region, regardless of their ability to pay.

Services offered by Centro de Salúd Mental Alaxik will include primary care, individual counseling, group counseling, substance abuse disorder, family therapy, bilingual services, community organizing and advocacy.

Completion will take two-and-a-half years.

Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo was elected as the representative of the 51st Assembly District in December of 2017. She is currently the Chair of Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration, and a member of the Assembly Committees on Appropriations, Budget, Health, Housing and Community Development, and Utilities and Energy.

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