Merced County Times Newspaper
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GVHC honors Dicochea with Lifetime Achievement Award.

Alicia Dichochea, at center, with friends, family and fellow GVHC leaders during the Making A Difference Gala.
Alicia Dichochea, at center, with friends, family and fellow GVHC leaders during the Making A Difference Gala.

This year marks Golden Valley Health Centers 50th year anniversary — a golden milestone for any organization.

During the GVHC Foundation’s recent “Making a Difference” Gala, Alicia Dicochea was recognized for her 45 years of dedication to the mission of Golden Valley Health Centers.

“At 93 years of age, Alicia Dicochea has been a champion and pillar of the community all her life, exemplifying the power of giving back to others,” said GVHC’s CEO Tony Weber during the event. “Back in the 1960s, she participated in a needs assessment in Merced County which showed that the primary community needs were daycare, affordable medical services, and affordable housing. Alicia spent the following decades advocating for change, lobbying for funds, and mobilizing communities into action.

“She has lived a life filled with many ups and downs, hard work celebrations, and losses, like each of us. We all have stories and examples of weathering the harshest storms, rejoicing in life’s miracles, and all the moments in between. But for Alicia, living through the storms fueled her desire to give back. To be the help and support that sometimes she was not given.”

When asked why she cared so much about the mission of the Golden Valley Health Centers, Dicochea responded: “I had lived the needs of the community. I had been through hardships myself. I didn’t read it, I didn’t hear about it. I lived it. And when you have lived hardship, you can feel compassion for others.”

Over her 45 years of service, Alicia not only led planning efforts for the first Golden Valley Clinic but each of the 30 clinics thereafter until she retired. She advocated for farmworker, minorities, and the underserved and ensured that she gave a voice to the needs of her community.

Today, GVHC recognizes her critical contributions as a founding member and 45 years of service on the Board of Directors. They also celebrate a woman who saw a need in her community and fought to be part of the solution. A woman, who despite great adversity, chose to exemplify the love of the human spirit to support and serve others.

The impact of her contributions spans generations. But the impact of her love, her selfless sacrifice, and her enduring fight for justice spans farther than we will ever know.

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