Members of United Health Centers of the San Joaquin Valley and the Selma community break ground at the health center's future location. The 12,000 square foot clinic will include medical, dental and optometry rooms Photo courtesy of United Health Centers

published on September 8, 2017 - 3:41 PM
Written by Donald A. Promnitz

United Health Centers of the San Joaquin Valley, a federally qualified health center, has broken ground for a clinic in Selma.

The ceremony, which was held on Friday morning at the future site at 2705 S. Highland Ave., saw many high-ranking officials from Selma and from United Health Centers in attendance. This included Colleen Curtis, their CEO.

“We’re very excited and happy to be coming into the community of Selma knowing that our vision of bringing services and working with this community and working with all the partnerships that we have begun to develop.” Curtis said at the ground breaking.

The Selma clinic is the result of some 18 months of planning. The 12,000 square-foot center will feature 17 exam rooms, 11 dental operatories and three optometry exam rooms. Like the other United Health Centers clinics, it will provide free transportation for patients with traveling difficulties and will partner with schools to help with education in the community.

United Health Centers operates more than a dozen clinics across the Central Valley. Their goal, Curtis stated, is to provide full service to patients in underserved communities. Their centers receive 400,000 visits from 75,000 patients annually.

“I may be the CEO—as in CEO of United Health Centers—but I’m a patient,” Curtis said. “I wear that hat all the time and I care very much and very deeply about how our patients are treated and what they receive when they come in the door.”

“My only regret is that we did not open in the City of Selma a long time ago,” said Justin Preas, deputy CEO for United Health Centers. “We’ve been serving this city for years and years. We have thousands of patients who come and see us in some of our other locations. We should have opened here many years ago.”

The clinic is expected to open next summer.

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