United Health Centers of the San Joaquin Valley (UHC) began as a grass roots health care initiative in the early 1970s by Orange Cove and Parlier community members. People who lived and worked in these small rural California cities had to drive over 40 miles to reach the nearest emergency room, and local healthcare resources were few and far between. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), UHC does everything it can to serve everyone, but especially people in underserved populations to receive the quality of healthcare they deserve.
Colleen Curtis has been President and CEO since 2008 and is UHC’s biggest advocate. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and effective strategic planning with an all-volunteer Board of Directors, UHC has been able to dramatically expand from only seven health centers in 2010 to seventeen health centers today and have plans for growth to reach twenty-four by the end of 2020. UHC currently has a staff of over 800 employees to deliver care to more than 90,000 patients with 515,000 clinical appointments annually to underserved communities primarily composed of Hispanic farm laborers and agricultural workers.
Through the expansion of health centers located across three Central Valley Counties of Fresno, Tulare and Kings, the UHC mission has remained focused on the underserved:
And in each health center, UHC provides state-of-the-art healthcare in all of its beautifully designed and furnished facilities including those in rural communities like Huron, Mendota, and Earlimart which are among the poorest towns in California.
Each UHC health center offers a combination of comprehensive primary healthcare services
including medical, dental, optometry, integrated behavioral health, chiropractic, prenatal care, as well as, other specialty services, ancillary services including pharmacy, x-ray, and clinical laboratory along with urgent care extended hours on weekends and free patient transportation. UHC also provides free enrollment services to assist patients with medical coverage and has a sliding scale for noninsured patients. The majority of their employees are bilingual, and everyone is incredibly welcoming and provide excellent patient focused services.