Health specialists yesterday celebrated the long-awaited grand opening of cushy, new offices and meeting rooms for Axis Community Health.
Now open is Axis Behavioral Health, a 5,600-square-foot facility that will house teen drug and alcohol programs, mental health counseling, DUI and adult drug and alcohol programs under one roof. Located at 6666 Owens Drive, close to the Hopyard exit off Interstate 580, less an a mile from the BART station and two Wheels bus lines, the center is staffed by 36, including drug and alcohol counselors, licensed therapists, DUI instructors and domestic violence and anger management counselors. Several are fluent in Spanish and can provide bilingual services.
The center has been planned for a while and Axis officials say the opening couldn't come at a better time.
"This has been in the pipeline for three years," said Axis CEO Sue Compton, "long before the economy declined."
"As it turns out, it's fortuitous because the need for our services will probably double before the economy recovers," she added. "With this new facility, we have the needed room to grow."
And grow they will. The center has multiple meeting rooms with uses that can be changed throughout the day to accommodate all types of services. The DUI program has been moved to the facility from a previously rented office in Dublin. Also, former mental health counseling spaces at Axis' location on Railroad Avenue downtown are now at the Owens Drive center. The Railroad office now is designated for fiscal and patient billing departments only. Suite A, which previously housed the financial offices, is being converted to Axis' new Women's Health Clinic, which is scheduled to open later this spring.
The funding for the behavioral health facility was made possible from Alameda County Measure A funds, a half-cent sale tax with funds designated for capital improvements at health care facilities countywide.
The facility is the only in the area that accepts Medical and serves 14,000 people per year.
"Our behavioral health services are affordable as all are provided on a sliding scale based on income, except for DUI fees, which are set by the state," Compton said. "Our CARF-credited (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) programs are growing rapidly and the new facility will allow them to expand up to three times their current size.
For more information about Axis, visit www.axishealth.org.