John D’Arrigo, president of D’Arrigo Bros. Co. of California, and board chairman Andrew D’Arrigo were among the family members on hand as Harry Weis, chief executive officer at the Salinas hospital, and Mayor Dennis Donohue marked the grand opening July 23.
Expanded services there will accommodate 32,000 to 42,000 patient visits annually, basically doubling capacity in the specialties clinic.
The specialties are wide ranging and include oncology; surgery; neurology; and adult and pediatric cardiology, among others. The hospital has added more than 60 physicians to its staff in the past two years.
D’Arrigo Family Specialty Services began with a $250,000 donation to Natividad Medical Foundation from the D’Arrigos.
“It’s gratifying to see the result and accumulation of the commitment from the D’Arrigo family to the health status of farm families, to see farmworkers and their families receive the kind of care we believe they should have,” John D’Arrigo said.
It’s part of a broader effort to benefit the hospital. The Agricultural Leadership Council, which donated more than $600,000 in three years to Natividad Medical Foundation, is comprised of about 100 Salinas Valley grower-shippers and related companies.
Linda Ford, foundation president, said the D’Arrigo clinic marks a turning point in health care for the area.
“Before this our families, if they needed a specialty service, would have to go up to the Bay Area to get it, to UCSF Medical Center or another hospital,” Ford said. “That made it extremely difficult for people who have challenges with transportation, finance or language. Because Dr. (Gary) Gray has added 60 new specialists, many coming down from the city to help our patients, they can come here and get the same care.”
Gray is chief medical officer.