If you are struggling to make ends meet and rely on Medi-Cal or lack insurance for dental and eye care the options available to you were extremely limited to nonexistent in Manteca until last week.
That’s when Golden Valley Health Centers opened its second Manteca clinic that is providing dental care, optometry services, and expanded family medicine in the remodeled former space of the state Economic Development Department at 302 Northgate Drive. It’s just a block west of the first clinic Golden Valley opened in October 2017 that provides basic medical care, pediatrics care, behavioral health, and health education.
The community health care center that operates 37 locations that are all in Merced and Stanislaus counties except for the clinics in Manteca conducted a grand opening celebration Wednesday at the new Northgate clinic.
“(Golden Valley) focuses on the most underserved people in the community,” Congressman Josh Harder told those in attendance. “This is often the only option they have. . . (And) despite constraints they still deliver quality health care.”
Harder pointed out close to 50 percent of those living in the Northern San Joaquin Valley relies on Medi-Cal or Medicare to access health services. The congressman noted at a town hall he conducted Tuesday at the Manteca Veterans Center on Moffat the No.1 concern of those in attendance was for more affordable health care and better access.
“We need more Golden Valleys,” Harder said after noting that the new clinic is part of the answer to that need.
Community health centers are doing more than just providing better access to health services. Nationally organizations such as Golden Valley are credited with reducing health care costs by $28 billion annually by serving people on government funded health plans or who do not have insurance to avoid going to emergency rooms for care when it is not a true emergency. That savings also factors in prevention and health education efforts.
As a community-based health care organization it receives 30 percent of its funding from the federal government that allows it to offer sliding fees based on the ability to pay for patients without insurance. The balance of their funding comes from payment for services.
Golden Valley is filling a critical need in Manteca as few, if any, doctors are taking new Medi-Cal patients. That coupled with a shortage of medical care professionals in the Northern San Joaquin Valley have made it a struggle for many to readily secure health services.
Golden Valley accepts Medi-Cal, Medicaid, Covered California, and most private insurances. They also have a sliding scale of fees for patients without insurance coverage that is based on their income.
Manteca Mayor Ben Cantu as well as council members Gary Singh and Jose Nuño all praised Golden Valley for filling a critical need in the community.
Cantu noted that the three most pressing problems in Manteca are affordable housing, the need for more jobs, and health care. Cantu said Golden Valley’s expansion will help ease the health care dilemma many are facing in the community.
“I appreciate that you are helping people in our community that are underserved,” said Jason Laughlin, who works as a field representative for Assemblyman Heath Flora, in presenting a resolution commending Golden Valley on behalf of the Ripon legislature.
Golden Valley CEO Tony Weber lauded the team effort of the nearly 1,000 employees that have made the organization an effective provider of health care.
The new clinic features 12 exam rooms for family practice medical care, seven dental operatory areas, and three exam rooms for optometry services. While Golden Valley has 11 other clinics that provide dental care the Manteca clinic is just the second that offers vision care.
There were 30 new jobs created with the clinic’s opening.
Golden Valley has logged 8.5 million patient visits since it was started almost 47 years ago initially as a community health center in Merced for migrant farmworkers.
Golden Valley also has a mobile homeless health care van funded by a grant that serves Modesto, Turlock and Patterson,
Patients can schedule appointments by calling or texting 1.866.682.4842.
More information can be found at www.gvhc.org.
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