CHC Celebrates 45 Years of Caring on the Central Coast

May 8, 2023

In May of 1978, Community Health Centers (CHC) opened its doors as a single health clinic in Nipomo, California, with a mission to provide quality and affordable healthcare services to the underserved communities of the Central Coast. Now, 45 years later, CHC has become a leader in community healthcare with 28 clinics in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, providing a comprehensive range of services to thousands of patients.

At CHC, we believe that healthcare is a basic human right. Our team of healthcare professionals works hard to ensure everyone has access to high-quality, patient-centered care regardless of their ability to pay. Over the past 45 years, we have remained committed to this mission and have expanded our services to meet the evolving needs of the communities we serve.



One of the key factors in CHC delivering on its mission is the commitment to building partnerships and collaborations with local organizations, community leaders, and other healthcare organizations to ensure everyone has access to the care they need. Through our partnerships, we have been able to expand our reach and provide a broader range of services to our patients, including specialty care, diagnostic services, and more outside the 4 walls of our clinics.

Our services have grown since those early days to include medical, dental, behavioral health, and specialty care, as well as health education, outreach, and advocacy programs. Our team of dedicated and compassionate healthcare professionals includes medical doctors, dentists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and licensed clinical social workers, who work together to provide coordinated care to our patients.

Below is a letter from the CEO of Community Health Centers of the Central Coast to the staff on May 8th, 2023:

Today is a very exciting milestone as it marks our 45th year of service on California’s Central Coast.
CHC began in 1978 with a staff of volunteer doctors in Nipomo, CA as a tiny rural health clinic housed in
a converted bungalow. Today, CHC is a not-for-profit network of nearly thirty medical, dental and specialty
clinics, spanning 120 miles of California’s Central Coast. 
While our facilities have improved and the number of patients has increased, our core mission of providing
high-quality and compassionate care has not changed. 
We have rejected the “corporate medicine” business model, choosing instead to care for each patient like we would
a beloved family member. “CHC Cares” is not a slogan, but a call to service for all of our nearly 850 employees.
No matter the job title, every employee knows how important they are to the continued success of CHC and
to the health and well-being of our patients. 
Thank you for making CHC a wonderful organization.
 – Ronald E. Castle, Chief Executive Officer

As we celebrate our 45th anniversary, we are proud to reflect on the positive impacts CHC has made for residents of the Central Coast community. Our caring staff has provided care to hundreds of thousands of patients, and our commitment to promoting health equity, reducing healthcare disparities, and improving access to care has helped to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve.

Looking forward, we remain committed to providing affordable and quality healthcare services to everyone in need. We will continue to explore new ways to expand our services, improve access to care, and strengthen our partnerships with other organizations and community leaders.

As we celebrate our 45th anniversary, we want to express our deep gratitude to our patients, community partners, and amazing staff who have made this journey possible. We are proud of the work we have accomplished, and we look forward to continuing to serve the Central Coast community for many more years to come.

Below are photos from the May 6th Health Fairs celebrating CHC’s momentous anniversary. These no-cost events were open to the public and took place at the CHC clinics in Nipomo, San Luis Obispo and Cambria where attendees received no-cost health services, including screenings, dental services, COVID-19 vaccines and more.

© 2024 Community Health Centers of the Central Coast