North Kern-South Tulare Hospital District (the “District”) today celebrated 20 years of service in the region with a community celebration and a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the new Gloria Nelson Center for Women and Children.
The new 9,800-square-foot medical center, made possible through nearly $5.2 million in financing from UnitedHealthcare, will serve more than 30,000 outpatients annually. The facility will provide much-needed services to the community, including prenatal care, gynecological services and pediatric care.
The medical center, located at 1500 6th Ave. in Delano, is named after former District board member Gloria Nelson, and will serve as an integral part of the District, which operates a 141-bed skilled nursing facility adjacent to the new clinic and last year recorded an occupation rate of more than 98 percent.
“The Gloria Nelson Center will help other physicians in the community by alleviating their schedules due to the increased population in Delano and surrounding areas. This community has many children and pregnant mothers who need health care services,” said Lidia Albiar, the District’s administrator. “Our goal is to work collaboratively with Delano Regional Medical Center, provide quality health care, and educate the community on how to better care for themselves.”
The medical center will focus on two separate specialties: women and children. The pediatricians within the facility will offer child well visits, wellness testing, physical exams, immunizations, sick child care and treatment for general health problems by appointment and walk-in. The OB/GYN physicians will provide office gynecology, infertility treatments, gynecological urology, surgical urology, family planning, prenatal care, postpartum care, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment.
Expanding access to health care is especially important in this area, which has among the highest unemployment and poverty rates in California. Recognizing local transportation needs, the District is also working with the city of Delano to ensure public transportation is available to patients.
“The Gloria Nelson Center for Women and Children is a great addition to Delano,” said Delano Mayor Ricardo Chavez. “Delano residents will have the opportunity to stay locally in another high-standard health care facility for services for their families. There is much to be proud of in the work accomplished by North Kern-South Tulare Hospital District.”
Along with the mayor, other dignitaries attending the ceremony were Delano city council members Sam Ramirez, Liz Morris, Joe Aguirre and Grace Vallejo, and Cheryl Burke, daughter of Gloria Nelson.
The new facility was made possible in part by UnitedHealthcare, which purchased the hospital district’s tax-exempt revenue bonds worth $4.7 million, and also provided a $490,000 grant to cover additional costs, for a total of nearly $5.2 million funding for the District.
UnitedHealthcare, which offers health benefits to nearly 3 million Californians, provided the funding through its California Health Care Investment Program, a 20-year, $200 million commitment to health care organizations that provide services to underserved, low-income and underinsured communities and populations throughout the state. The investment program provides California health care entities access to capital rates that are highly competitive with those of conventional financing.
“We are honored to be a part of the new Gloria Nelson Center in Delano, California,” said Steven Henry, director of UnitedHealthcare’s California Health Care Investment Program. “This new facility will improve health care for thousands of people in the region by expanding access to health services for those in the community who need it the most.”
The California Health Care Investment Program so far has provided more than $200 million in total capital to 29 health care organizations in California, including 10 in the Central Valley.
About The North Kern-South Tulare Hospital District
The North Kern-South Tulare Hospital District (www.nksthd.org) opened in 1991 and is celebrating its twentieth year serving the residents of North Kern and South Tulare counties. The NKST owns and operates Delano District Skilled Nursing Facility and the Gloria Nelson Center for Women and Children. The skilled nursing facility is a 141-bed facility that provides 24-hour nursing care to its residents. The Gloria Nelson Center provides OB-GYN and pediatric healthcare services to women of all ages and children 21 years of age and younger.
UnitedHealthcare (www.uhc.com) is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.