Established in 1973, Golden Valley Health Centers (GVHC) has an impressive 50-year commitment to serving populations that are medically underserved and uninsured. The organization operates forty-six fixed in-scope medical facilities and three in-scope mobile medical sites which serve the residents of areas that are federally designated as Medically Underserved Areas/Populations and Health Professional Shortage Areas, within a three-county service area (Merced, Stanislaus, San Joaquin) in California. GVHC is recognized as a Primary Care Medical Home by The Joint Commission; a certification which recognizes that GVHC’s patient care teams work in partnership with patients to provide care that’s coordinated, effective, and timely, and is a widely recognized symbol of quality. It is a reliable indicator that the medical practice is well-managed and delivers high quality care. GVHC provides comprehensive, integrated, patient-centered Primary Health Care services including Family and Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Reproductive Health and Family Planning, Dentistry, Optometry, Laboratory, Imaging Services, Pharmacy, Behavioral Health, Nutrition, Health Education, Outreach and Enrollment, Transportation and Translation/Interpretation Services. Services are provided by highly qualified professionals working together in multi-disciplinary teams, including board certified physicians and pediatricians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, licensed clinical social workers, health educators and patient navigators. GVHC is the safety-net provider of choice for the indigent, uninsured, underserved, special needs population, migrant and seasonal farmworkers, and all other persons of limited access (individuals at or below 200% FPL). In 2021, GVHC served as a “Health Home” for 135,755 patients; 95% of patients lived below 200% FPL; 68% were of Hispanic ethnicity; 19% of patients or family members were dependent on the agricultur
al workforce; 36% were best served in a non-English language; 75% were Medi-Cal (Medicaid) covered; and 12% were uninsured. Target populations face significant multi-faceted and complex access barriers, geographic and linguistic isolation, coupled with immigration, cultural factors, poverty and insurance issues, that interplay to create an extremely hard to reach group. Working in collaboration and partnership with the community, GVHC mobilizes combined energies and experience to better serve patients and support initiatives that address health care and access problems. The service delivery strategy includes: full utilization of medical facilities, a multi-culturally diverse and competent work force, expanded patient care hours, health education, community outreach, insurance enrollment, transportation assistance and advocacy to access available resources. With documented high unemployment, poverty and uninsured figures far above both national and State averages, there is little doubt about the high need in the region, which also suffers from a severe shortage of primary care and specialty care providers. This project addresses the goals of the Health Center Program by nurturing the infrastructure that maintains and expands access to medical services for the underserved. With continued operational support from the Bureau of Primary Health Care in 2023-2025, GVHC’s health center project will be able to exceed its end of project period patient target of 146,364 patients, as identified in the FY 2023 SAC Service Area Announcement Table (SAAT ID 297). This project meets the health care needs of underserved and uninsured populations while leveraging several funding streams and generating a break-even or better budget. The federal grants received are essential elements in GVHC’s ability to maintain financial viability and to meet the needs of the populations it serves.