MCHC Encourages the Next Generation of Health Professionals with Donation to UHS Scrubs Club


February 2016

To encourage Ukiah’s next generation of care providers, MCHC Health Centers donated $500 to purchase gear for members of Ukiah High School’s scrubs club so they can be easily identified when they volunteer as first responders in the community. The UHS scrubs club provides instruction to students interested in health, medicine and allied fields such as fire and emergency medical response.

“Encouraging students to explore their interest in medicine and EMS is good for them, as well as the future of our community,” MCHC Health Centers Associate Medical Director Justin Ebert explained. “The main focus of scrubs, I believe, is from the standpoint of first responders. Some members are junior firefighters with local fire agencies; others volunteer at school sporting events.” Ebert believes that with this type of experience, students will be better equipped to make decisions about their futures, potentially becoming nurses, doctors, fire fighters, paramedics or other health-related professionals. Ideally, many will return to Ukiah after completing their education and training to care for people in this community.

UHS scrubs instructor Ben O'Neil has extensive experience in the emergency response field and is helping students who are interested prepare to sit for the national emergency medical technician certification exam upon high school graduation. O’Neil has also partnered with Mendocino College to help students continue their medical education, and is developing a medical Spanish program.

Ebert supports training local students for local jobs. Like many Mendocino County health care organizations, MCHC Health Centers spends a lot of time and energy trying to recruit enough medical providers, and with national shortages in many medical fields, it is advantageous to grow our own when possible. 

In its medical department, MCHC Health Centers employs doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, nurses, and medical assistants. In its dental department, it employs dentists, dental hygienists, registered dental assistants, and sterilization techs. And in its behavioral health department, MCHC Health Centers employs licensed clinical social workers, nurse practitioners, psychologists and others. 

“We love hiring local people because they are generally invested in this community and tend to stay here,” Ebert said.

MCHC Health Centers provides comprehensive health services including primary medical care, pediatrics, dentistry, women’s health, obstetrical care, counseling, psychiatry, chiropractic and specialty care, and looks forward to growing to meet the ever-expanding needs of the communities it serves. Learn more at  

Next: Sam Fernandez Named Behavioral Health Director →