Visalia Medical Clinic – the largest multi-specialty clinic in the central San Joaquin Valley – has formed a partnership with Kaweah Delta Health Care District in Visalia in a bid to prosper in the changing health care environment.
A side benefit for both the clinic and Kaweah Delta is more heft for recruiting doctors to town.
On Nov. 1, Visalia Medical Clinic became an affiliate of the new Kaweah Delta Medical Foundation, which is owned by the district.
“Patients won’t see any difference at all except a different-looking bill,” said Rick Strid, chief executive officer of the foundation and executive director of the clinic.
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We need to grow.
Rick Strid, CEO, Kaweah Delta Medical Foundation
Strid has been at Visalia Medical Clinic since 1994 and has been chief executive officer for the past 12 years.
“We need to grow,” he said.
The deal to create a foundation has been in the works for about three years, he said.
Being an affiliate strengthens the clinic’s ties to the hospital, surgery center, cancer center and other divisions of Kaweah Delta, he said.
“It allows us to present ourselves to Blue Cross, Blue Shield, HMOs and large employers as an integrated health care system,” Strid said.
All doctors at the clinic are now independent service providers operating under a professional service agreement.
But the 206 employees of Visalia Medical Clinic are now employees of Kaweah Delta Health Care District, which may increase their career opportunities, according to the clinic and the district.
206Number of Visalia Medical Clinic employees
Visalia Medical Clinic was formed in 1941 by three doctors and has been at its current location in west Visalia since 1974. It’s the oldest clinic in town.
The foundation is leasing the Visalia Medical Clinic building, which remains owned by VMC Inc.
It’s expected that the new arrangement will boost the clinic’s appeal to young doctors as a place to set up shop, said Lindsay Mann, CEO of Kaweah Delta Health Care District.
“Physicians are looking for an opportunity to practice in a multi-specialty group,” he said. “They have the certainty of an income without having to handle the administrative aspects.”
Some of the resident physicians being trained at Kaweah Delta Medical Center – 59 are there now and the number is growing – will likely establish practices at the clinic, he said.
The clinic has more than 40 doctors now.
“We will grow to 75 to 85 physicians,” Mann said.
Medical foundations have been successful elsewhere, he said. It’s possible that other medical groups could affiliate.
WATER CURRENTS: Attorney Dan Dooley has returned to the field of water law after several years at the University of California.
He and Gary Sawyers, a lawyer in Fresno, and Dick Moss, an engineer in Visalia, have formed New Current Water and Land.
The venture offers “high-level strategic consulting” involving large water transfers, Dooley said.
Dooley was a water lawyer for many years in Visalia, so he is returning to his roots.
Additionally, Dooley has been “of counsel” to Bolen Fransen Sawyers, a Fresno law firm, since the first of the year.