In late February, the Board of Supervisors gave a certificate of recognition to the Sierra Family Health Center and its founder, Dr. Peter Van Houten, acknowledging their 40 years of service to North San Juan and the rest of Nevada County.
Back in 1982, Dr. Van Houten first established a medical clinic in North San Juan, offering a full-service family practice where he served as a full-time physician, as well as Medical Director and Chief Executive Officer. The practice had two physicians, two nurse practitioners and provided over 7,000 medical patient visits a year with 24/7 after-hours calls. In 1994, he founded Sierra Family Medical Clinic as a non-profit corporation and oversaw the addition of integrated behavioral health and dental care on site, while doubling patient capacity.
Over the years, the Center has continually offered forward-thinking services that provided significant benefit to its patients, including integrating behavioral health services into primary care, offering telemedicine appointments (long before they became commonplace) and, beginning in 2011, Sierra Family Health Center was the first agency in the county to provide medication-assisted treatment for patients with opioid use disorders.
When Dr. Van Houten and his staff appeared before the Board of Supervisors on February 22, to receive their certificate of recognition, their togetherness was so apparent. They are a team – really embodying the teamwork I celebrate in the title of my newsletters – and they work together to do good for their community. Thanks again to the clinic, the staff, and Dr. Van Houten, for all you do.