Castle Family Health Centers, Inc. (CFHC), a Merced County community clinic, was incorporated as a California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation in 2006 and received federal 501(c)(3) non-profit designation in 2007. In 2010, CFHC clinic operations were designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center Program look-alike by the federal Bureau of Primary Health Care, with the Bloss Memorial Healthcare District (BMHD) as a co-applicant.
The BMHD is a 501(c)(3) governmental public entity that is one of 78 Healthcare Districts in California established by the state Legislature to involve community members in meeting local medical healthcare needs. In the early 1990’s, BMHD managed two rural health clinics and the Bloss Memorial Hospital (established in 1936). While the clinics flourished, the hospital encountered aggressive competition from neighboring hospitals; low occupancy rates, cost-cutting reforms in federal programs, and managed care insurance plans, which resulted in its closure in 1998. In 1999, BMHD established another rural health clinic at the site of a former Air Force Base Hospital that was gifted to BMHD. Since 1999, the facilities have operated as “Castle Family Health Centers”.
As the area continued to develop, it was recognized that the “rural” designation could be lost, therefore BMHD and CFHC applied to become a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC). A separate Board of Directors was developed for a stand-alone CFHC. BMHD gifted $700,000 and loaned another $700,000 to support the new organization of CFHC, Inc. which assumed all operations of the rural health centers. As noted above, in 2010, CFHC with BMHD as a co-applicant was designated as a Federally Qualified Health Center Program look-alike. Currently BMHD now only serves as landlord for two of the three health center facilities.
CFHC is headquartered at 3605 Hospital Road, Atwater, CA 95301. CFHC currently operates three comprehensive community clinic facilities:
1. CFHC – Castle Site: 3605 Hospital Road, Atwater, CA 95301 (66,533 sq. ft.)
2. CFHC – Bloss Site: 1251 Grove Avenue, Atwater, CA 95301 (9,790 sq. ft.)
3. CFHC – Winton Site: 6590 N. Winton Way, Winton, CA 95388 (4,350 sq. ft.)
Across these three locations, CFHC provides a wide range of medical, behavioral health, and educational services to address the needs of its community across the lifespan. The mission of CFHC is “to provide comprehensive, quality and accessible care. We will respect each patient’s cultural and linguistic background and provide care regardless of the individual’s ability to pay.”
Today, CFHC is one of three FQHC providers in Merced County. CFHC clinics are open 152 hours per week. CFHC continues to grow to become an integral part of the safety net of FQHCs in Merced County, providing care for the low income, medically indigent and remaining uninsured populations.
* The Castle Family Health Center at the Castle facility is located in the former Castle Air Force Base Hospital in Atwater and is the largest clinic providing primary care (53 exam rooms, including pediatrics), urgent care, specialty health care services (including but not limited to optometry, cardiology, orthopedics, nephrology, ENT, infectious diseases, pulmonology, and urology), radiology, laboratory, pharmacy and health education. The CFHC at the Bloss facility is located in the former hospital of the Bloss Memorial Healthcare District in the City of Atwater. This facility houses nine exam rooms, as well
as Women’s Health (seven dedicated exam rooms), Behavioral Health (three dedicated rooms), and the Adult Day Break (day care services).
* The CFHC at the Winton clinic is located in a strip mall in the unincorporated community of Winton and is the smallest facility with seven exam rooms.
Through its three clinic sites, CFHC provides full-scope primary care, which includes general family medicine, women’s health, pediatric services, and geriatric care. Additionally, CFHC offers integrated onsite services, such as acute and chronic disease management, care management, immunizations and boosters, diagnostic procedures, referral to specialists, wellness and health maintenance services, STD testing and treatment, well-child checkups, and well-woman exams. Screenings for cancer, communicable diseases, hypertension, cholesterol, asthma, pediatric development, and diabetes are part of the disease prevention and population management services available to CFHC patients.
CFHC’s behavioral health services include individual and family counseling and comprehensive clinical behavioral health services for children, teens, and adults. Behavioral services may include integrative behavioral therapy, short-term therapy around specific life stressors or specific psychological symptoms, case management, group therapy, and substance abuse services.
Overall, CFHC, Inc. seeks to serve the safety-net population in Merced County, and focuses on offering culturally appropriate medical care to each of its patients at each of its sites. Recognizing that access to care is most critical to maintaining good health, CFHC has hired bilingual providers and support staff to ensure care is provided with the utmost of cultural and linguistic competency to their diverse patient population. CFHC’s aim is to enhance the quality of life for all individuals in their catchment area and to promote positive health outcomes in the community.