Mayor Swearengin Honors President Welty, Community Medical Centers With Special Recognition at State of the City
FRESNO – Mayor Ashley Swearengin today honored Fresno State President John Welty and Community Medical Centers with special recognition for their contributions to the community during the annual State of the City event.

President Welty received the Key to the City Award in recognition of his commitment to education and improving the prosperity of Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley. Community Medical Centers received the CHAMPION (Companies Helping Advance Meaningful Progress in Our Neighborhoods) Award, which was started by Mayor Swearengin to honor companies that go above and beyond in working to improve the City.

“President Welty came here from Pennsylvania in 1991 and, right away, he saw something in the City and region that few, if anybody, saw. He saw tremendous opportunity and potential in Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley, and his experience in other parts of the country showed him that a university can have a major impact in creating and taking advantage of opportunities,” Mayor Swearengin said. “He has been at the forefront of positive change in our record for more than two decades.”

In presenting the CHAMPION award to Community Medical Centers, Mayor Swearengin recognized Community’s “extraordinary efforts in doing everything in its power to make a positive impact on our City.”

Some of Community’s major efforts include:

  • Community staff and physicians contribute thousands of hours as volunteers in organizations such as the United Way of Fresno County, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the Poverello House, First 5 Fresno County, the Fresno Rescue Mission, Valley Caregivers Resource Center, Survivors of Suicide Loss and many others.
  • Community is an active partner with Saint Agnes and Kaiser Permanent in Fresno First Steps Home and is a critical part of the team working to connect the homeless with stable housing and address health, dependency and job training needs.
  • Community worked with a number of partners to open the Fresno Medical Respite Center at the Fresno Rescue Mission in 2011. Its eight beds provide a bridge of care for people who no longer need acute medical attention as hospital inpatients but are not ready to be on their own yet.
  • Physical therapists from Community as well as physicians and residents in training with UCSF Fresno regularly provide pro bono care to clients at the Poverello House.
  • In 2011, Community raised the private funds necessary to open Terry’s House – a beautiful home just across from CRMC – in order to provide lodging for families with loved ones who are receiving care across the street. To date, Terry’s House has served more than 1,500 families from 38 states and 13 countries. Terry’s House is a godsend for those families who are desperate to be near their family members who are in critical condition at CRMC.
  • Representatives from Community have chosen to take an active role in neighborhood revitalization. In the Lowell Neighborhood, which borders CRMC, Community’s Corporate CFO Steve Walter has personally purchased and rehabilitated aging homes to help make them viable again and turn around one of the most distressed neighborhoods in our City.
Mayor Swearengin also paid tribute to former Community nurses Nezira Fojan and Michelle Estrera, who were killed in a tragic limousine fire earlier this month.