Dr. Magdalen Edmunds and Michela Allen discuss baby Madisyn Byrd-Ray’s health. Photo: Pete Rosos

For 38 years, Lifelong Medical Care has been been providing high-quality medical, dental, and other services to Berkeley’s most vulnerable residents. Started by the Gray Panthers as the Over 60 Health Clinic in 1976, LifeLong has now grown into nine different facilities around the Bay Area, with most centered in northern Alameda County.

Lifelong just renovated and expanded its health center at 2031 Sixth Street in West Berkeley and will be holding a grand opening celebration Sunday, March 2, 3-5 p.m. to which the public is invited.

To recognize the work Lifelong does in the community, Berkeleyside commissioned contributing photographer Pete Rosos to create a photo essay on Lifelong Medical Care. Rosos spent several weeks on the assignment, photographing patients taking part in several Lifelong programs, including its Healthy Kids group, the Men’s Health group, a Power Yoga class and a Parenting class. Take a minute to view the slideshow above to see his beautiful images.

Student Ruben Perez reaches for the floor in Power Yoga. Photo: Pete Rosos

Lifelong takes medicine outside its traditional boundaries and helps patients with a broad variety of questions such as when to see a doctor or dentist, what to expect when you’re pregnant, or how to make more nutritious meals if you have diabetes.

With a staff of 100 doctors, dentists, nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, and midwives, and headed by Executive Director Marty Lynch and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Barbara Towner, Lifelong provides healthcare to about 53,000 patients each year.

The organization’s building, designed by the architect Walter Ratcliff in 1927, was a former daycare center for the  school district before Lifelong took it over. Lifelong added a three-story addition to the building, which sits in a west Berkeley neighborhood with the lowest median income in the city. Thirty-two percent of the children living around the clinic live in poverty.

Lifelong serves some of Berkeley and Alameda County’s neediest patients and has seen its numbers swell with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. It will serve 11,000 patients at the West Berkeley site this year, up from 6,000.

Berkeleyside is a sponsor of Lifelong Medical Care’s grand opening celebration, which is at 2031 Sixth Street on Sunday March 2, 3-5 p.m.

Dr. Sharad Kohli (far right) joins the group’s discussion on change, with (left to right) Rodney Brown, Tim Batts, Alex Kelsey, Derrick Dismucke, Ed Silberman and Ruben Perez. Photo: Pete Rosos
Mirca Vidal Hernandez adds honey to the mix while Rosa Vidal Hernandez and Michael Valerio look on. Photo: Pete Rosos
Tim Batts and Sam Tamori get ready to finish the meeting. Photo: Pete Rosos
Rosa Vidal Hernandez has her blood pressure taken. Photo: Pete Rosos
L to r: Kermit Hudson, Madisyn Byrd-Ray, Michela Allen and Georgia Santiago. The discussion continues. Photo: Pete Rosos
(left to right) Kermit Hudson, Madisyn Byrd-Ray, Michela Allen and Georgia Santiago. The discussion continues. Photo: Pete Rosos

Lifelong Medical Care gets $1.1 million federal grant (05.29.12)
Lifelong Medical Care: helping the community for 36 years (03.05.12)

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Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...