GONZALES — The Taylor Farms Family Health and Wellness Center in Gonzales is operational while the construction on the site’s expansion continues into the beginning of the new year.
The center, part of the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System (SVMHS), will expand from the original 6,400 square feet size it opened with in 2015 to a total of 19,400 square feet. The expansion is on track for completion in late spring, followed by a remodeling of the original section, with a full project finish by the end of summer.
“The expansion in Gonzales will incorporate and bring more specialty care services to the area so people don’t have to drive as far to receive quality care,” said Karina Rusk, healthcare systems spokesperson for SVMHS.
Primary and specialty care offered at the center will add OB-GYN, orthopedic and behavioral services. Additionally, there will be an enhanced diabetes and endocrine center with education as well as medical services. This includes a multi-use educational space in the form of a conference room-style classroom with a demo kitchen.
“Educators can show patients and families how to cook healthy meals,” Rusk said. “It’s another thing for patients and family members to be able to see and touch meals, how it would work with their lifestyle and kitchen.”
The diabetes-related education is essential for SVMHS, as Rusk said their educators “consider it a tsunami when it comes to health care.”
By providing education and preventative services, Rusk said they are “saving patients themselves so much in terms of what they will experience.”
Behavioral health is a focus for SVMHS with the expansion of the Gonzales center. The larger facilities will allow for group and individual care, including stress management as a component for well being.
The project comes with a total budget of $10 million. Part of that budget is a $2.5 million grant from the Central Coast Alliance for Health and another $2.5 million from the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation.
The original west side segment of the center remains operational with services uninterrupted. Services will then shift to the new expansion once completed so the original portion can be remodeled, then the entire center is planned to be operational in the late summer.
“We’re doing this for minimum disruption to the patients while we expand and enhance services,” Rusk said. “Patients will not have to check into the new facility. It’s the same place, just a different door.”
SVMHS is an umbrella of medical services, which includes numerous facilities in Salinas and throughout Monterey County. Rusk said the expansion of the Gonzales center allows for the consortium to better bring more of the services to families in South Monterey County.