Healthcare Services Boom Set for the Central Valley
May 28, 2024
Sutter Health
Collage of five medical office building facades

by Craig Baize, Vitals contributor

In the heart of California’s Central Valley, significant advancements in healthcare are underway. With a growing population in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties and evolving healthcare needs, the demand for accessible and quality medical care has never been higher.

Not-for-profit Sutter Health is answering the call for expanded healthcare by making a significant commitment to increasing access to physicians and services for patients. It is doing so not only in communities where Gould Medical Group and Sutter Gould Medical Foundation have long had a presence, but in new and growing Central Valley cities as well.

Bringing Care Closer

Leaders in Sutter’s Greater Central Valley are moving at a substantial pace on key projects and services. With the commitment of funding and support from Sutter Health’s governing board, new outpatient care centers are planned to welcome patients beginning in 2025 in Manteca, Tracy, Lathrop, Riverbank and Turlock.

Butter yellow building facade with a palm tree in front is illuminated by sunshine on one side.

A care complex on Lifestyle Street in Manteca will add primary care, imaging, lab and existing specialty care OB/gyn, pulmonology, orthopedics and general surgery specialists.

“We’ll be breaking ground on many of these projects within the next year to enhance access to primary and specialty care services,” said Gino Patrizio, president of Sutter Health’s Greater Central Valley.

Sutter is identifying real estate opportunities with the needs of our patients at the forefront and a goal to bring healthcare closer to the community. In Tracy, a former Rite Aid on Valpico Road will be repurposed into primary and urgent care services. In Manteca, a 17,000-square-foot care center is planned in the Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley, in a high-traffic area near JC Penney, Bass Pro Shops and Regal Cinemas. The site will enable the expansion of primary care, diagnostic imaging, and lab services as well as increased specialty care in OB/Gyn, orthopedics and more.

“These locations are perfectly suited for healthcare services and create the ability for Sutter to bring more to our community members with convenience in mind,” added Amber Campbell, Ambulatory CEO for Sutter Health’s Greater Central Valley.

Expanding Space in Current Sites

Infrastructure improvements are also planned for existing Sutter locations.

“Gould Medical Group is doing a phenomenal job recruiting and welcoming new physicians into their group,” said Campbell, “so we have opportunities to add new care space in our current locations to enable them to build for their practices.”

At 600 Coffee Rd. in Modesto, for example, space on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the four-story complex will be converted to primary and specialty care clinic space. Construction is already underway to add diagnostic imaging services, expanding MRI capabilities and creating space for mobile imaging equipment. Advanced diagnostic upgrades are also in progress for Sutter Gould’s Stockton Care Center.

At the Sutter Gould facilities on Spanos Court in Modesto (next to Sutter Memorial Medical Center), plans call for moving the neurosurgery suite to a new 5,000 square foot space to allow for growth in neurosurgery care. Their weight loss management program will then move to the vacated space to allow for that program to grow as well.

“We will also add nearly 2,000 square feet of care space to our already-existing Women’s Health Center to accommodate incoming/newly recruited clinicians who will serve as faculty in Graduate Medical Education programs, where we will train new physicians to help meet the demand in our community,” said Campbell.

Building facade and driveway backlit by sun

The third floor of one of the main buildings of the Stockton Medical Plaza campus on Hammer Lane will see the build-out of existing space to create room for additional primary care practices.

In San Joaquin County, expansions include adding space for primary, specialty and behavioral health providers. Sutter Gould’s Lodi Primary Care Center on Ham Lane, for example, will add space for behavioral health providers and pulmonary specialists. Meanwhile, the third floor of one of the main buildings on the Stockton Medical Plaza campus on Hammer Lane will see the build-out of existing space to create room for additional primary care practices. The current Tracy care center on Eaton Ave will expand to bring in more specialists and Sutter’s existing Manteca care center will also accommodate behavioral health providers after the new Manteca location opens.

Meeting Growing Demands

The western part of the Greater Central Valley, including the Greater Tracy and Manteca areas, is poised for high population growth, with projections exceeding 2% per year, and 1% for the rest of the Greater Central Valley.

Bald, Caucasian man presenting to crowd with Sutter Health logo in background.

Warner Thomas, president and CEO of Sutter Health.

“We know, from our research and work to address the healthcare needs of the diverse communities we serve, that there are thousands more residents throughout Northern California who want to be treated at a Sutter facility, by a Sutter-affiliated doctor,” said Warner Thomas, Sutter Health’s president and CEO. “Our goal is to be able to accommodate them, and we have a plan to do just that.”

Thomas, along with leadership from the Sutter Health board of directors, has helped spearhead these patient-focused expansion plans to ensure that resources align with the evolving healthcare needs of the communities served.

The initiatives are part of Sutter Health’s broader strategy to open 24 new care centers across its footprint. With new facilities and services strategically located, the aim is to increase access to primary and specialty care doctors, reduce travel times for patients and provide timely access to essential healthcare services.

A Vision for the Future

Longer term, larger projects are also in Sutter’s plans. By 2028, Sutter Gould is looking to add another medical office building to its Stockton Medical Plaza campus and expand its Modesto locations with new cancer care and ambulatory surgery facilities.

With a commitment to the community and a vision for innovation, Sutter is poised to shape the healthcare landscape for generations to come.

“Over the next three years, and beyond that for some of our more ambitious projects, we are doubling down on our commitment to be the premier source of healthcare services in the Valley,” said Thomas. “Our focus is on caring for patients first and our people always, ensuring that quality healthcare remains accessible and inclusive. By expanding our presence and investing in specialized programs in the Central Valley, we aim to strengthen the connection Sutter Health has with residents and offer the care needed, when needed.”

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