Patient Advocate Jacque Williams Returns to MCHC Health Centers Board

April 2017

Ukiah -- MCHC Health Centers (MCHC) is happy to announce the return of Jacque Williams to its governing board. Williams is the executive director of the Ukiah Community Center and Ford Street Project (which includes the Ukiah Recovery Center)—organizations that serve many of the same people cared for by MCHC Health Centers.

“MCHC’s board already includes many people with healthcare experience, which is as it should be,” she said. “My role is to be an advocate for clinic patients, because I see MCHC through the eyes of those in the shelter and transitional housing, and those in recovery. MCHC is a critical resource for them.”

She continued, “There are a lot of organizations that care for the same population as that served by the Ukiah Recovery Center, but very few are as responsive and proactive as MCHC. The health care offered to our clients is supportive, sensitive and professional, and our partnership has expanded the possibility for wellness.”

MCHC and Ford Street Project have a long history of collaboration, most recently augmented by MCHC’s medical director Dr. Jerry Douglas agreeing to serve as the recovery center’s medical director, too.

“With Dr. Douglas serving as the medical director, we will be eligible to offer drug Medi-Cal supportive services, which will mean people that have never had insurance coverage for addiction services will now have the opportunity to access residential or outpatient treatment,” Williams said.

The Ukiah Recovery Center mostly cares for veterans, whose care is covered by the Veterans Administration, and those on probation or parole. There’s also some funding for pregnant women and new mothers struggling with addiction but otherwise, Williams says, it can be difficult to find coverage.

“I believe people often relapse because they don’t get enough help to really be successful. Drug Medi-Cal will help change that,” Williams said.

She noted that many clients in recovery also have behavioral health issues, and praised MCHC’s behavioral health services. “As we help clients address addiction, MCHC’s behavioral health providers are important partners. They help our clients when they’re struggling with depression or anxiety during the recovery process. In the past, we used to say, ‘Let’s deal with one problem at a time,’ but life’s not linear. People often need help with several things at the same time,” Williams said.

People in recovery also receive medical care from MCHC Health Centers. For the better part of a decade, physician assistant Tom Feiertag has traveled to the Ukiah Recovery Center twice a week, helping patients recognize and manage health problems that come to light as the patients become more aware of their physical needs, after they are no longer under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. MCHC’s Care-a-Van also makes daily trips between its Ukiah site, Hillside Health Center, and the Recovery Center to transport people from the center or from any of Ford Street Project’s other housing and shelter programs.

            Williams says she is happy to be back on MCHC’s board, to support the health centers’ work and support her clients’ needs. She said, “MCHC offers a safe place where people can say, ‘I was addicted or I am an addicted’ and they will get the health care they need.”

Located in Ukiah, Willits and Lakeport, MCHC Health Centers provides comprehensive health services including primary medical care, pediatrics, dentistry, women’s health, obstetrical care, counseling, psychiatry, chiropractic and specialty care. The organization is dedicated to continuing to meet the ever-expanding needs of the communities it serves. Learn more at   

Next: How Social Stigmas Get in the Way of Good Health →