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Sacramento clinic serves as life-line for the undocumented seeking care

Isabel Ayala-Ávila
Isabel Ayala-Ávila
The USC Center for Health Journalism Collaborative
February 19, 2019

Isabel Ayala-Ávila came to the United States, seeking better treatment for her 29-year-old son, Luis Miguel Farías-Villa, who has cerebral palsy.

His mother has been looking for help for years and was turned away by everyone both because they're undocumented immigrants and because they don't qualify for MediCal because she exceeds the maximum earnings for that insurance. Isabel supports her mother, daughter and other son, who help her to take care of Luis Miguel while she works two jobs, seven days a week. Ayala-Ávila was finally able to get help through Clínica Tepati.

Clínica Tepati is a student-run program at UC Davis that helps low-income individuals. A total of 80 students work at nine clinics - all similar to Tepati - and most of the students come from a similar background: immigrant families, some of them protected by DACA. 

The numbers from 2017-2018 show that 82.6% of patients at Clínica Tepati are Latino/Hispanic and 50.1% are diabetic - none are insured.

Follow the USC Center for Health Journalism Collaborative series "Uncovered California" here

About This Series

This project results from an innovative reporting venture – the USC Center for Health Journalism News Collaborative – which involves print and broadcast outlets across California, all reporting together on the state’s uninsured. Outlets include newspapers from the McClatchy Corp., Gannett Co., Southern California News Group, and La Opinion, as well as broadcasters at Univision and Capital Public Radio. 

Topics in this Series

  • Affordability
  • Access to Care
  • Expanding Coverage
  • Undocumented & Uninsured
  • Legislative Fixes