The new three-story, 16,000 square-foot Russian River Health and Wellness Center (RRHWC) located in Guerneville, California, provides primary care services to low-income families and individuals. It replaces an older health center that was destroyed in an arson attack in 2015. The community invested in the new facility as a community resource for residents who have experienced hardships, such as the 2017 wildfires and the 2019 flood. The new center offers patients medical, psychiatric, and acupuncture services. It has patient rooms, wellness offices, conference rooms, a community room, outdoor patios, and a rooftop garden. It will also contribute to local economic growth by attracting patients from the surrounding wider region.
The site is in a floodplain with concerns about soil settlement and potential flooding. The building was considered a Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI, formerly OSHPD) level 3 building and was therefore reviewed by Sonoma County. The first floor required flood-resilient construction, including rapidly deployable flood barriers at all entrances and elevators. Due to the potential of site flooding, the lateral system of the lower level was designed as concrete shear walls that would incur minimal damage and less repairs should the site flood. The construction was scheduled around mandated seasonal work stops to minimize the disruption of migrating and nesting birds.
A key component of the clinic is a separate building called the Resiliency Center, which is a community gathering place built on the same footprint as a former natural foods and organic produce market. It was intentionally designed around the community, featuring a rooftop garden and a community room that can be used for events and classes.
In addition to providing primary care services, the RRHWC also offers behavioral health services and specialty care, including prenatal care and women’s health services.
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