Sharing his vision for the future, newly appointed West Oakland Health Council (WHOC) CEO Benjamin Pettus says “a change is coming” at the health center, which will mark its 50th anniversary in 2017.
Pettus spoke June 30 at reception in his honor.
“As the healthcare environment and our neighborhoods are rapidly changing, what stays the same is our deeply held belief that our community has a right to health,” he said. “We are steadfast in our commitment to providing the highest quality and compassionate care for our patients.”
For forty-nine years WHOC, located at 700 Adeline St in Oakland, has built its reputation as the health care partner of choice for prenatal and birthing care in West Oakland as well as in areas of pediatrics; chronic disease management; substance abuse and recovery services; mental health care and dental care.
Pettus’ vision goes beyond the effective job WOHC is performing currently to the community. “We need a state of the art facility to continue, not just to provide quality care but to have the ability to hire and retain the best talent,” he said.
In addition to the need for a new facility, Pettus’ key priorities are focused on rebuilding a team of talented professionals, continuing to improve patient experiences, strengthening financial systems and the development of a new strategic plan in collaboration with the Board of Directors.
In attendance at Thursday’s reception were Congresswoman Barbara Lee; Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson; Captain John Moroney, M.D., administrator Region 9 of the Health Resources & Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services; Kathleen Clanon, M.D., Medical Director of the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, with the opening invocation by Rev. Dwayne Fisher.
“Quality health care should be accessible to everyone without thought of income with health care that addresses all aspects of the mind and body, said Rep. Lee. We have to keep fighting for the funding, and I want to commend WOHC, which did so in a dignified forthright manner.”
‘We are continuing a resurgence that ideal young radicals had 40 to 50 years ago that health care must be affordable in the community,” said Supervisor Carson.
Benjamin Pettus most recently served as President of Health Care Associates, Inc., in Kansas City, Missouri. Formerly, he was CEO of a number of health care centers throughout the nation, including Ko’olauloa Community Health and Wellness Center in Kahuku, Hawaii, the Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center in Kansas City, Missouri; and the Missouri Coalition for Primary Health Care in Jefferson City, Missouri.