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Lifetime Achievement Honor Goes To Alicia Dicochea
Shown, Alicia Dicochea holding flowers and surrounded by her family and Golden Valley Health Centers CEO, Tony Weber, at right, during presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo Contributed

Golden Valley Health Centers honored Alicia Dicochea for 45 years of activism and achievement during GVHC Foundation’s “Making a Difference” Gala.

This year marks Golden Valley Health Centers 50th year anniversary, a golden milestone for any organization. During the GVHC Foundation’s “Making a Difference” Gala, Alicia Dicochea was recognized for her 45 years of dedication to the mission of Golden Valley Health Centers.

“At 93 years of age, Alicia Dicochea has been a champion and pillar of the community all her life, exemplifying the power of giving back to others. Back in the 1960s she participated in a needs assessment in Merced County which showed that the primary community needs were daycare, affordable medical services, and affordable housing. Alicia spent the following decades advocating for change, lobbying for funds, and mobilizing communities into action.” said GVHC’s CEO Tony Weber during the event.

As a Federally Qualified Health Center — an FQHC — Golden Valley Health Centers follows the Federal and the State of California regulations pertaining to the type and quality of health services provided to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. GVHC has 44 clinical locations and serves over 145,000 patients a year in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced counties.

“She has lived a life filled with many ups and downs, hard work celebrations, and losses, like each of us. We all have stories and examples of weathering the harshest storms, rejoicing in life’s miracles, and all the moments in between,” Weber added. “But for Alicia, living through the storms fueled her desire to give back. To be the help and support that sometimes she was not given.”

When asked why she cared so much about the mission of the Golden Valley Health Centers, Dicochea responded: “I had lived the needs of the community. I had been through hardships myself. I didn’t read it, I didn’t hear about it. I lived it. And when you have lived hardship, you can feel compassion for others.”

Over her 45 years of service, Dicochea not only led planning efforts for the first Golden Valley Clinic but each of the 30 more clinics thereafter until she retired. She advocated for farmworker, minorities, and the underserved and ensured that she gave a voice to the needs of her community.

She was recognized for her critical contributions as a founding member and 45 years of service on the Board of Directors for the Golden Valley Health Centers.