Golden Valley Health Centers celebrated 50 years of service in Merced County with an open house event at our Northview Health Center in Merced, CA, on Thursday, January 20th. Golden Valley Health Centers CEO Tony Weber, Chairman of the Board John Price, local dignitaries, and staff were in attendance. “It all started in Merced County 50 years ago,” Weber said. “We’ve been providing quality care to the residents in Merced County for a long, long time, especially the last two years.”
“We’re honored to be here for 50 years, serving our communities and receiving the support that we do,” Weber added. Golden Valley Health Centers started as Merced Family Health Centers in a one-exam room clinic on the south side of Merced.
“One of the driving things about Golden Valley Health Centers since day one in 1972 was to make sure that health care could be accessible for all of us,” said Price, who has served on the board for 36 years. “It started out as a migrant health care farm worker program and then it grew and morphed into the federal qualified health center that it is today.” Today there are 44 clinics that stretch across Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. Merced Family Health Centers changed its name to Golden Valley Health Centers in 1990 as they continued to expand. Golden Valley Health Centers now sees 175,000 patients. According to Price, 10% of Merced County residents are Golden Valley Health Centers patients. “That is a big deal,” Price said. “We’re proud of the impact we’ve had on the health outcomes of our counties.” Assemblyman Adam Gray presented Weber and Price with a certification of recognition for the work done in Merced County during the event.
The Merced Hispanic Chamber of Commerce also presented an award to Weber and Price for the years of service by Golden Valley Health Centers. Tours of the Northview Health Center, which opened two years ago, were also available for guests during the event. “We’ve significantly lacked in health care in our community for a long time so anything we can do to better that, especially during this time is important,” said Merced County Supervisor Josh Pedrozo. “Now we’ve really shown the need to have services, mental health services, pharmacies, all the stuff that’s here is really important.” Center manager Rhianna Castro says she can see the impact Golden Valley Health Centers has had in Merced, CA. She sees it when she’s out in the community running into patients. “It’s incredible to be in such a small community and know we have that impact,” Castro said. “We are here and we are available. Especially right now in COVID times, it is tough, but our doors are open and we are doing everything we can behind the scenes to make sure all of our patients are being seen and taken care of.
“I see the outreach we are doing in the community,” she added. “I see the hundreds of COVID tests that we are doing a day. We’re able to get people those answers so they can get back to work.” Weber said the clinics and centers have been instrumental for Merced County during the pandemic. “We were on the forefront of putting drive-through testing clinics up before anybody else did, we’ve been out in front of testing, and vaccine programs,” Weber said. Price said the mission statement for Golden Valley Health Centers hasn’t changed in 50 years. “Our mission is to provide quality health care services to the people in the communities we serve, regardless of their language, financial or cultural barriers,” Price said. “That’s our mission statement and 50 years later it still holds true. That’s what we are about, that’s what we were about on day one and that’s what we’re about now.”
First featured in the Merced Sun Star here.