July 21, 2020
WEST SIDE HEALTH CARE DISTRICT AND FOUNDATION COLLABORATE FOR FUTURE GROWTH
The mission statement for the West Side Health Care District has been the same for many years and continues to state the Vision and Values of the District:
“As a rural health care district dedicated to the healing arts, we are committed to meeting the challenges of the future by preserving quality health care services for the needs of the West Side Community we serve.”
After a strategic planning session in 2015, the District began an exciting journey: First, the transition from an “Urgent Care Clinic” to a Certified Rural Health Clinic in 2017. Then in 2018, the District, as West Side Family Health Care Clinic, broke ground on an exciting $9.3 million new construction and expansion of the existing Clinic. This allowed the District to grow our resources for Primary Care while continuing walk-in services. The District committed $5.3 million of cash reserves and received a generous donation of $4 million from the Holmes Foundation, in recognition of the contribution of the petroleum-based companies and their employees to the economy of the State and life in Western Kern County. The “new” West Side Family Health Care Clinic opened with a community celebration in March of 2020.
Does the Mission of the West Side Health Care District now change? No… the District will continue to move forward to “meet the challenges of the future” in evaluating how the District can offer “quality health care services for the needs of the West Side Community we serve.”
The District Board has identified potential goals that include additional services and equipment, and new services such as mental health and telehealth that are in the planning stages. Specialty Clinics for outpatient or home-based services in podiatry, chiropractic medicine, cardiology and nephrology are potential future opportunities. Our capital budget plan envisions adding dental services for our poor and underserved citizens as we continue to strengthen the primary care services we now offer.
How does this all come about? Clearly, through leadership, management and financial resources. Each member of the District Board will continue to provide leadership--individually and collectively--in fulfilling the Board’s commitment to the District Mission. Strategic planning with industry experts, visionaries, and consultants will strengthen the District’s position moving forward.
Another resource that the District will encourage to grow in presence and influence in support of the District is the West Side Health Care Foundation. The Foundation has been a presence in the West Side since 2011. Until recently, the Foundation’s visible leadership included Bob Hampton, a true community leader and citizen. Bob’s recent passing has left a legacy of support dedicated to “preserving quality health care services for the needs of the West Side Community we serve.”
In a recent meeting the West Side Health Care Foundation Board, under the leadership of Acting President Joe Fuller, committed to growing the Foundation Board’s membership and fulfilling the Foundation’s charter of support to the West Side Health Care District. As a 501(c)3, the Foundation is dedicated to improving access to health care and services in the rural areas of West Kern County. In that meeting, Eric Cooper, President of the District Board, pledged the Board’s continuing commitment to providing optimum and sustainable health care services for the communities and citizens of the West Side Health Care District.
With oversight and efficient management of the District’s resources and operations there will be an opportunity to move forward with new equipment and services. The Foundation, renewed in leadership and membership, can also have a unique opportunity to contribute to “ownership,” which is where many in our community can contribute. This community partnership can provide financial resources to further the mission objectives of the West Side Health Care District. For information about the District, contact the Executive Director, Gerald “Jerry” Starr at 661-765-7234. For more information about the Foundation, email Shannon Miller at (redacted).