MENDOTA, California — Ground broke Friday morning in Mendota for a brand new health and community center. The AMOR Wellness Center aims to fill the health care gap in Western Fresno County.
Construction for the center will be on a plot of land by Belmont and Derrick avenues. It’s not Mendota’s first health center, Janet Andermatt remembers that one.
“It was very small, hard to get appointments and a lot of my tenant don’t drive, so they’d have to walk down there,” Andermatt.
She’s talking about her tenants at Midland Manor Apartments, which happens to be right next to where the AMOR Wellness Center will be.
AMOR — which stands for the Alliance for Medical Outreach and Relief — started work on this project four years ago after creating a hospital and a number of clinics in Afghanistan.
AMOR’s Executive Director, Davena Witcher, said the center will not only provide general and specialty health care — but also behavioral health and social services that many in Mendota have to drive to Fresno for.
The health care services will be provided by Madera Community Hospital as a hospital-based rural health clinic. That partnership allows the services to stay affordable for the residents in Mendota and surrounding communities.
“MediCal patients can come and receive all the services that they would receive anywhere else,” Witcher said. “Madera Community will get a reimbursement rate that sustains them in this effort as well.”
The $8 million center will also have a basketball court and community garden. It will also stay open longer on weekdays and weekends to accommodate farmworkers’ schedules.
“It’s outrageous to think of something that great here in Mendota. I mean, Mendota’s just a small, little farm town,” said Andermatt.
The goal is to have the center up and running for the 2020-2021 school year, trying to get things done in July 2020.
For more information about AMOR and the center, click here for its official website.