United Health Centers of the San Joaquin Valley, with its corporate offices located in Parlier, California, is a private non-profit organization, incorporated in January 1971, whose purpose is to provide comprehensive medical, dental and community health services to the medically underserved in the central San Joaquin Valley. We are licensed by the State of California as a community health center, and the Federal and State governments designated us as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).
The establishment of an effective rural health care delivery system was originated by community grass roots people who expressed the need to have access to health care. These groups began to work toward this end in communities having severe medically unmet needs. Although each group started at different times, their goals were similar. They had envisioned having the most comprehensive family oriented health care system to focus on the high infant morbidity and mortality rates, lack of medical and dental services, and the paucity of accessibility and affordability to health care.
The result of such efforts can be found in modern medical and dental facilities in the communities of Parlier, Orange Cove, Reedley, Huron, Lemoore, Earlimart, Mendota, Kerman, Raisin City, Sanger, Fowler and Corcoran. Most of the health centers offer the following services: general and family medicine, Pediatrics, general dentistry, pharmacy, clinical laboratory, x-ray, dermatology telemedicine, integrated behavioral health, chiropractic care, Optometry and preventative medicine programs. Programs such as perinatal health, nutrition Counseling, WIC, health education and promotion, family planning, immunizations, translation, community outreach and transportation services, maternal and child health, are also available.
The United Health Centers service area is located in the heart of California in the Central San Joaquin Valley. The San Joaquin Valley is considered the richest agricultural area in the United States. The agricultural economy of the San Joaquin Valley depends heavily on a farm labor force which is made up primarily of local agricultural and farm workers. During the peak harvest season migrant workers from throughout the Southwestern United States come to assist in the harvesting of a variety of fruits and vegetables. The area is considered the highest migrant impact area in the County.
United Health Centers delivers approximately 190,000 medical, dental, and other service encounters per year. The ethnic composition of the patients served by the centers is 91% Hispanic, 1% Black, 7% White, 1% other. United Health Centers accepts various modes of payment including Medi-Cal, Medicare, Tricare, most insurances and sliding fee. Services are provided to patients without insurance on a sliding-fee-scale according to the patient’s ability to pay.
United Health Centers is staffed by a comprehensive team of over 400 health professionals consisting of physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, lab and x-ray technicians, dentists, dental hygienists, nutritionists, and certified ancillary personnel, most of whom are bilingual.
The Policies and Procedures, Goal and Objectives are set by the Board of Directors. The Board consists of professional, community, and consumer members. The President & Chief Executive Officer is in charge of the day-to-day operations and management of the health centers.
United Health Centers works with other local and national groups, such as National Association of Community Health Centers and the California Primary Care Association in the coordination of services for migrant and seasonal farm workers.