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First Merced City School District Health Center Opening Soon

Merced City School District (MCSD) and Golden Valley Health Centers (GVHC) will break ground next month to commemorate the future site of the first community health center in the Merced area, located at Joe Stefani Elementary School.

The new Merced Ranchero Health Center will provide an array of services including Pediatrics, Family Medicine, Dental Care, and Behavioral Health to the local community. Equipped with six exam rooms, three large operatory rooms and a spacious waiting room, the more than 4,000 square foot health center will promote a supportive and relaxing environment with highly-qualified staff, ready to serve new and existing GVHC patients.

This clinic will be the sixth school campus health center under the Golden Valley Health Centers umbrella. Currently, the organization operates five school-based health centers: two in Modesto, one in Empire, one in Westley, and one in Riverbank. These centers provide health education, offer health services to students who do not have health insurance, and provide support for community members living in the vicinity of the school. These health centers are a very convenient option for many students and families, especially those with transportation barriers that can make it difficult to visit a clinic.

Golden Valley Health Centers is proud to partner with Merced City School District on the project, in serving the healthcare needs of all MCSD students and community members. “The Stefani health center represents the kind of development both teams imagined nearly a decade ago, rooted in the heart of a community and within walking distance for families of Stefani Elementary who would otherwise have to drive to receive healthcare services,” said Merced City School District’s Acting Superintendent, Brian Meisenheimer.

“We are eager to see this project completed,” said John Price, of Golden Valley Health Centers’ Board of Directors. “Our health centers provide an important point of access for students, by bringing high-quality healthcare directly to where students and families are already spending much of their time – at school.” GVHC serves 145,000 patients per year throughout Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, and plays a vital role in small rural communities.

Site construction will begin in April of 2023, with a target open date pending (Spring, 2024).  A small groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. to commemorate the new center.

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