Clinica Sierra Vista

Exam room corridor
Exam room corridor
Treatment Room
Treatment Room
Floor plan for the Central Bakersfield location
Floor plan for the Central Bakersfield location
Enterance to the Central Bakersfield Health Center
Enterance to the Central Bakersfield Health Center
Nurse Station and Corridor
Nurse Station and Corridor
Bakersfield, California
KSA Architects
Opening Date: 
February 1, 2010
Type of Facility: 
New Facility
8,000 sq ft.
Services Offered: Medical
Additional Services: Primary Care, Teen outreach and mother/child care, Pediatrics
Safety Net Facility: 
Number of Exam Rooms: 
9 rooms
Average Daily Patient Encounters: 
200 encounters
Number of Care Providers: 
4 physicians

About This Clinic

With 16 health centers and 54 different locations, Clinica Sierra Vista provides health care services to a large, underserved Hispanic population spread over 6,000 square miles. According to Doug Moore, the Facilities Manager at Clinica Sierra Vista, they go into areas where no one else will go. The sizes of their clinics vary from 4,000 to 23,000 sq ft, and they see about 300,000 patients every year. They have built several new clinics in the past few years. The Central Bakersfield Community Health Center is one of their newer facilities; it opened in November, 2006, and is a federally qualified safety-net facility. This clinic is located in an urban area and primarily caters to the needs of young families and children, mostly of Hispanic origin. One of the key challenges with the design of this facility was to create a warm welcoming environment that is also safe and secure.

Built Environment Features

Doug Moore, facilities planner, worked with the architects to create a warm soothing environment at Central Bakersfield. They did this primarily through the use of colors, textures and materials. They also included art work, seating, and durable flooring materials. Clinica Sierra Vista tries to make the exam rooms warm and appealing with art and warm colors. They have well landscaped outdoor areas that are visible through large windows. They tried creating child play areas in the waiting spaces, but had to eventually remove them when they became a safety hazard and were difficult to keep clean. Infection control is a key priority at the clinics. Their infection control approach includes triaging patients at the front desk, strict cleaning procedures for different areas of the facility, and hand washing for both patients and staff. They are considering installing sanitation stations in the lobby so that patients can wash their hands when they arrive at the clinic.


Safety and security is one of the key concerns for most clinics within Clinica Sierra Vista. The clinics are located in dangerous areas (prone to gang warfare and vagrancy). They have two centers specifically for the homeless and a facility for the homeless providing post-hospital care. Medical and public areas are separated by locked doors as well as staff and break areas. However, at all their clinics they aim to give the same quality and access to healthcare for everyone. Though security is an issue, they try to make the spaces accessible and welcoming. For example, there are no windows at the reception desk to avoid an institutional feel.
Due to the high patient volume and the fact that patients are often accompanied by several family members, waiting areas tend to be crowded and maintaining patient privacy is often a problem.


Connection to Community

Clinica Sierra Vista has a major market share in the community and to increase access, most of their clinics are located in residential areas. For example, the Central Bakersfield Community Health Center is located close to a low income housing project. Further, to increase access and communication, the organization has instituted a rigorous patient and staff feedback program. In the lobby, there is an area for patients to write their comments and suggestions. The staff enter the suggestions and comments online, then they are sent directly to the CEO, who redirects them to the appropriate manager. Because of their market presence and location in key underserved areas, Clinica Sierra Vista continues to receive substantial grant funding for their work.