After two years of an extensive national search, Golden Valley Health Centers has found its new chief executive officer.
Tony Weber, a former health care finance executive with more than 28 years of experience, started his new position as head of the nonprofit last week.
The GVHC board of directors had been looking for someone to take over the position since 2012, when former CEO Mike Sullivan retired.
Weber, 57, is originally from Sacramento and has worked in several community health centers in the state. Before arriving in Merced, Weber was a chief financial officer at San Ysidro Health Center, a multispecialty clinic in the San Diego area.
Weber said he believes one of the reasons he was chosen for the position was because of his familiarity and understanding of the Central Valley and its people. He worked for the Family HealthCare Network, a multisite clinic with locations in the Valley, for about 18 years.
“Mr. Weber emerged as our next leader because of his extensive experience in health care in almost every segment of delivery systems, his strong financial acumen and his demonstrated leadership in the field,” GVHC board President John Price wrote in an email to employees announcing the hiring of Weber.
Weber plans to continue Sullivan’s legacy of providing quality health care to all those who need it.
“The mission and the values of Golden Valley match up so closely with my personal goals that I don’t feel the need to come in and make all these drastic changes around here,” Weber said. “Financially, we’re very sound; we’re doing a lot of really good things and being innovative.”
Weber said he hopes to see an expansion of health centers in the area, with a focus on dental services.
“Fortunately for us, there’s a huge demand for our services; unfortunately, right now we can’t meet all that demand,” Weber said. “One of my goals as CEO is to strategically look to see where we can expand.”
GVHC is an organization of 26 sites that serves more than 100,000 patients a year in Merced and Stanislaus counties. Weber said he recognizes this has been important, but he expects to lead even further growth.
“I think (Golden Valley Health Centers has) come a long way in these past 40 years, but there are a lot of patients that still need access to good quality care,” he said.
Lisa Baladad, marketing and fundraiser coordinator at GVHC, said she expects that having Weber on board will have a positive impact on the health centers.
“We’re looking forward to working with Tony,” she said. “Working with Mike Sullivan for so long, and then having that interim phase, and now having Tony here – it’s been a transition, but we’re very excited to have him here.”
Sun-Star staff writer Ana B. Ibarra can be reached at (209) 385-2486or aibarra @mercedsunstar.com.