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Health endowment provides funding for sexually transmitted diseases testing
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Legacy Health Endowment is continuing its mission to create health care solutions within Stanislaus and Merced counties, this time with a program aimed at preventing and treating sexually transmitted diseases.

With a $100,000 grant from LHE, Turlock Pregnancy and Health Center is launching a free STI program to help ensure that pregnant moms, women and men know that free testing and treatment are available through the local health center. The program is confidential.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Legacy Health Endowment. They bring a great healthcare vision and insight to our community. This STI program will help so many understand that local medical testing is available and free. Our goal is to meet patients at their point of need, and educate them to be proactive in their sexual health,” said Tracey Benton, acting executive director of the Turlock Pregnancy and Health Center.

The LHE funds will be used to underwrite the cost of buying the STI tests, including the costs of blood analysis and medication, where needed, if the person does not have prescription drug insurance.

“Sexually Transmitted Infections are on the rise in Stanislaus County and across the U.S. While we thought syphilis was eradicated 10 years ago, there are now more reported cases. We have a public health responsibility to help our community know that TPHC is a confidential source focused solely on providing excellent, free care to the patient,” said Jeffrey Lewis, President and CEO of LHE.

“We are partnering with TPHC because they bring great value to our community every day. They underscore the value of working with faith-based programs that focus on the person, caring for them and helping. What an incredible partner,” Lewis continued.

Turlock Pregnancy and Health Center, a faith-based nonprofit free clinic, is located at 134 Regis St. Suite B in Turlock. For more information, call 656-9898 or visit

Funding sexually transmitted infection testing at Turlock Pregnancy and Health Center is just the most recent program to receive support from Legacy Health Endowment.

In January, Legacy Health Endowment and the Stanislaus Community Foundation teamed up to fund a critical piece to solving healthcare provider shortages in Stanislaus and Merced counties, by providing a combined $1.9 million grant for a new family nurse practitioner degree program at Stanislaus State.

In 2017, the endowment awarded $550,000 to local wellness programs.

Golden Valley Health Centers and Livingston Community Health each received $150,000 to implement a wellness initiative to decrease obesity and chronic disease in the workplace. This two-year grant funds a wellness program for employees at Golden Valley Health Centers and Livingston Community Health in hopes of reducing employee turnover and absenteeism due to work-life imbalances and health issues related to chronic disease conditions (diabetes, asthma, congestive heart failure, etc.).

Catholic Charities’ Homemaker Services received $125,000 to provide services for elderly and disabled residents in the 11 zip codes that Legacy Health serves in Stanislaus County. The funding will provide approximately 2,500 hours of expanded homemaker services, which include home repairs, home safety modifications, counseling, socialization, physical activity, transportation to appointments, respite care, meal preparation, companionship, home medication screening, and so on.

Castle Family Health Centers’ Adult Day Services in Atwater received $125,000 to provide therapeutic, social and health services for elderly and other adults with physical or mental impairments through their Day Break program. The grant will support individuals who have no access to any third-party coverage and will allow the eligible participant to receive all of the various programs offered within the facility anywhere from three to five days per week for up to a full year.