Healthcare Hero: Tony Weber

In a world where healthcare access is a challenge, and where affordability looms large, Tony Weber has been charging forward, building programs to ensure that the poor, uninsured and others have access to needed care.  For Tony, the patient and quality care services are his priority.  As the CEO of Golden Valley Health Centers (GVHCs), patients pay what they can afford – no one is ever turned away.

Since assuming the CEO position in April 2014, Tony Weber has built a reputation as an empathetic and passionate leader who builds sensible healthcare solutions with innovative ideas.  He has successfully ushered in greater quality improvements for patients and their families, expanded services offered to patients, grown the organization from Merced and Stanislaus Counties to also include San Joaquin County.  Most important, he has ensured that GVHCs are investing in the local communities they serve by having a handful of staff singularly focused on helping community partners grow with Golden Valley.

The importance of this is underscored by the more than 130,000 patients they cared for in 2018 representing almost 508,000 patient visits, a 15 percent growth from 2017.  Today, GVHCs has 36 sites across the three counties, and they continue to grow.  Regardless of the growth, Tony Weber has never lost sight on ensuring quality care in every service provided by GVHCs.

Tony’s focus on access is also evident in his commitment to advocacy and education. GVHC under Tony’s direction has had a clear focus on advocating to address the provider shortages in the valley, providing quality healthcare for all people, and the integration of dental and behavioral health services in rural areas. It is his dedication to working with communities, elected officials, and his staff to draw attention where it’s most needed that has made GVHC what it is today.

Reading Tony’s resume, it reads like a who’s who in healthcare.  His background is wonderfully diverse, building a solid career from the ground up and recognizing that no job is too small.  Like many true healthcare leaders, he looks at our ongoing healthcare crisis as an opportunity to create change that will change the lives of people across the Central Valley.  As a husband, father and grandfather, protecting families are at the core of who Tony Weber is.

And, family for Tony has no age barrier.  Today with his leadership team, they are working on building a long-term care system to aid community members who are dully eligible for Medi-Cal and Medicare.  His goal: ensure that community-based services are available to help seniors and disabled community members access to care at home – never in a nursing home unless necessary.

Character, tenacity, commitment to family and community.  These are words that define Tony Weber and why he is a healthcare hero.

— Jeffrey Lewis is the President and CEO of Legacy Health Endowment in Turlock.  The views expressed are his own (jeffrey@legacyhealthendowment.org).