In 1972, Dr. John H. Jones founded the Davis Free Clinic, bringing to Yolo County his vision and philosophy of offering high quality, affordable health care services to those who traditionally did not have access to health care.
Dr. Jones grew up in Piggott, Arkansas, where his father, also a doctor, often received chickens or other food instead of money for his services. Dr. Jones came to Davis to work in a local family practice group and eventually became a provider at the UC Davis Cowell Student Health Center. During the day, he worked at the Student Health Center and at night, he volunteered at the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco, treating those with addictions and sexually transmitted diseases.
Dr. Jones was quick to notice that the city of Davis also had a population of people with drug addictions who had no insurance to cover care for a variety of health problems. Dr. Jones opened the Davis Free Clinic at the Friends Meeting House of Davis at 345 L Street. Dr. Jones also visited farm labor camps and other encampments using a converted milk-delivery truck as a mobile clinic. Eventually, the Davis Free Clinic moved to a house on 4th Street in downtown Davis and continued to expand its reach.
In addition to general medicine, in 1973, the Davis Free Clinic established a women’s health program and also began to offer substance abuse treatment services. A perinatal program was added in 1980 and a pediatric program started treating children in the area in 1984. In 1990, a dental program was added to the clinic’s growing list of services.
In 1985, the Clinic moved into another downtown building, sharing the old Safeway site with the Davis Food Co-Op. That facility was designed to handle approximately 10,000 patient visits per year. When patient visits totaled over 30,000 per year in this facility, the Board of Directors of the Clinic turned to our community for support to build the new Davis Community Clinic, now located at 2051 John Jones Road. The community response was overwhelming and, as predicted, patient visits continued to climb significantly when the new clinic opened in March of 1997.
In 1994, the name “CommuniCare Health Centers” was adopted to describe the family of health centers that today includes the Davis Community Clinic, Peterson Clinic in Woodland, Salud Clinic in West Sacramento, Esparto Dental Clinic, An additional two clinics, the John H. Jones Community Clinics in West Sacramento and Woodland. In 2006, CommuniCare Health Centers became a Federally Qualified Health Center, and in 2008, the National Association of Community Health Centers selected CommuniCare Health Centers as the honored recipient of the Migrant Health Center Outstanding Service Award, recognizing CommuniCare's excellence in the migrant health care field and the high level of commitment and innovation demonstrated in service to migrant farm workers and their families. The Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society selected CommuniCare Health Centers as the 2009 recipient of the Society’s Medical Community Award. The Medical Community Award is presented annually to a community organization or community leader in El Dorado, Sacramento or Yolo County deserving of high recognition for their significant contribution toward remedying a medical or public health problem and their valued medical service.
In service to our founding mission, we continue to strive to improve the availability and accessibility of health care services for those in need. We are committed to meeting the needs of the communities we serve by providing patient-centered health care with an emphasis on culturally competent services and preventive care.