Published July 17, 2001
Volume 9, Number 7

Valley Community Health Center Provides Health Care Services to the Whole Community

The name "Valley Community Health Center" may sound similar to that of two other major health facilities in the Livermore-Pleasanton area, but it's in a league by itself.

Valley Community Health Center offers medical, mental health, and social support services to Tri-Valley residents regardless of income. Founded in 1972 as a nonprofit organization, the health center serves 20,000 community members annually through direct services as well as school- and community-based education, prevention, and treatment programs. 

Ron Greenspane has been the executive director of the health center since February 2000 and believes that the organization is an important asset to the community. "We serve everybody and the focus is on low income people," he says. "We are here for them."

The Valley Community Health Center's programs are extensive and include medical services, behavioral health, senior support, drug and alcohol counseling, WIC (Women, Infants, Children), the Valley Aids Project (VAP), and Family Crisis Services.

Some of the programs are offered free of charge. Many are available on a sliding scale based on income and family size. One nice feature of the health center is that patients can see a health-care professional either by appointment or, in many cases, on a walk-in basis. 

"We have a lot of avenues for health and social services not found anywhere else in the Tri-Valley," Greenspane notes. 

The strength of the health center, he feels, is "the medical staff, and that includes not only providers and the nurses but, it should be emphasized, the medical assistants and the clerical people who are the first contacts."

That staff consists of two full-time doctors, several part-time and full-time nurse practitioners and four to five registered nurses. 

The staff also helps patients by being ready with translators in Spanish, Hindi, Chinese, Mandarin, and several other languages. "People who come here will not have to worry about communicating," said Greenspane. 

Working directly with local people and businesses is what a community clinic does, says Greenspane. 

The Health Center depends in part on corporate donations and has benefitted in the past from major donations by Hacienda companies such as ANG Newspapers and Dillingham Construction. 

Greenspane is interested in forging further ties with local businesses. "We are just starting to recognize some of these opportunities and are doing outreach, speaking to the community, and getting funding from local businesses."

The VCHC has services to offer businesses as well. The Health Center is teaming up with the Rotary Club of Pleasanton "Be Wise" program to deliver hepatitis B immunizations in the fall. 

"Everyone has to have a hepatitis B shot before they enter 7th grade," says Greenspane, and the center can set up a mobile, three-day immunization clinic at any local business for a company's employees and their families to receive the three-shot regimen. For more information about any VCHC services call Ron Greenspane at (925) 462-5544 or email info@vchc.org.

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