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Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics celebrates National Health Center Week

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics is in the midst of celebrations for National Health Center Week.

If there’s one thing that decades of practicing medicine has taught physicians like Dr. Charles Fenzi, it’s the importance of access to healthcare.  

“I really think that we all need to have access to good health care. That should be a right. I feel strongly about that,” said Dr. Charles Fenzi.

Dr. Fenzi is approaching his 80th birthday and is celebrating his last National Health Center Week before he retires.

This is a celebration of health centers throughout Santa Barbara county and the nation.

“It recognizes our staff and recognizes the patients we serve, particularly the homeless,” said Fenzi.

These Santa Barbara neighborhood clinics bring health care to the medically underserved .

“When I was doing my rotations, I would say, Oh, I want to be a pediatrician. And then I would go on to surgery. Oh, gosh, I want to be a surgeon or neurosurgery. Oh, wow, I need to do that. So anyway, I said, okay, one way I can do all those things is to become a family doctor,” said Fenzi.

Just as Dr. Fenzi addresses several elements of medicine, Santa Barbara neighborhood clinics address everything from mental health and substance abuse to dentistry, housing, and other basic needs when addressing patient care.

“The thing that's most that I'm most proud of is the fact that we're integrating behavioral health with primary care,” said Fenzi.

Dr. Fenzi views the human body as a puzzle with the mind-body connection as a central puzzle piece.

“For a long time in my practice. You were paid differently if you were taking care of a psyche or a psychological diagnosis. And thank goodness that's over with,” said Fenzi.

For more information regarding National Health Center Week and the listing of events visit

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.


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