SDFHC icon About Us
Reverend Samuel Dixon founded the first Samuel Dixon Family Health Center over 40 years ago in the community of Val Verde, CA. Today we serve all residents of the Santa Clarita Valley and beyond.

Our mission is to enhance wellness by providing quality outpatient health care services and programs, health education, community resources, and referrals.

Our philosophy is to empower patients to manage their health and health care. We follow the self-management patient care model in which patients take a central role in managing their health. Our health care programs include assessment, goal-setting, action planning, problem-solving, and follow-up in order to ensure patients stay healthy. Our health care providers are there through the whole process, offering guidance and support to help patients reach their goals.

We want to ensure that all our friends and neighbors have access to affordable quality primary care. We make a special effort to serve the uninsured and under-insured residents of Santa Clarita Valley.

With our three primary health centers - the Val Verde Health Center, Canyon Country Health Center, and the Newhall Health Center; we provide immunizations and vaccines, physicals, screening and diagnostic tests, well baby care, preventative programs, family planning, women's health services, prenatal services, treatment of illness and injury, and more. We have two outreach locations at the College of the Canyons and the California Institute of the Arts.

This past year, we provided over 11,000 patient contacts, with all charges based on the individual's ability to pay. Many times this care prevented illness and injury from getting worse; eliminated the need for unnecessary trips to the emergency room and enabled family members to gain employment, or get back on the job quickly.

We are the only group of health centers founded and based in the Santa Clarita Valley. Our board of directors, all of whom are Santa Clarita Valley residents, govern us.

We are proud that because of our community fundraising support, we are able to offer our services.
Reverend Samuel Dixon
Reverend Samuel Dixon

SDFHC icon History of the First Samuel Dixon Family Health Center

By Miriam Canty, November 2000

In 1978 Joan Pinchuck, deputy to Supervisor Baxter Ward, invited residents of Val Verde to review Los Angeles County's Housing and Community Development Act and to provide information on proposed activities.

The 13-member Val Verde Advisory Council, with Eugene Taylor as chairman, recommended to Supervisor Ward that Val Verde needed some type of health service. The nearest health service was 14 miles from Val Verde.

Once the county and the advisory council agreed to establish a health care center they began securing funding.

The Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation invested $70,000 to convert the annex of Rev. Samuel Dixon's church, which was under construction in 1980, into a health facility.

The health center received the Strong-Brown federal grant of $60,000 annually, which paid for the service of a resident physician, just out of school, who was specializing in family medicine.

The building was not quite finished when Rev. Dixon died.

Kiwanis and Rotary members led a drive for labor and materials to finish the annex. People from all over the Santa Clarita Valley donated their time and materials. On weekends they came with saws and hammers to complete the Samuel Dixon Community Center.

It took three years of county rezoning, federal grant applications and a complex arrangement between Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital and Santa Monica Hospital before the health center opened.

When the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center opened in August 1980 it was operated jointly by Newhall Memorial hospital and Santa Monica Hospital.

Newhall Memorial contributed pharmaceutical materials, utilities, supplies, health education and rent. Santa Monica Hospital staffed the health center with an administrative director, a resident physician, a community health worker, a general medical supervisor and consultant. They used the center for training their residents.

The community of Val Verde was regarded as an ideal place to train young people in a rural, multiethnic family environment, where primarily low-income families would not otherwise receive health care.

The Val Verde Civic Association, faced with losing the health health center, mounted a community awareness campaign with the assistance of Jo Anne Darcy, deputy to Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich. They obtained a community block grant from the county to re-open the health center.

In February 1991, during the rededication ceremony, Mrs. Evelyn Dixon, wife of the late Rev. Samuel Dixon, cut the ribbon and Supervisor Antonovich gave a special commendation to Michael Gales for outstanding service to the health center and community.

Kaiser Permanente recognized the Val Verde Samuel Dixon Health Center's effort by awarding its $25,000 "good neighbor" grant to the center. This exemplifies a successful public-private partnership working toward enhancing the lives of the residents of the Santa Clarita Valley.

We believe health care is a basic human right without regard to status, race or ability to pay.

SDFHC icon

Miriam Canty was a charter member of the Samuel Dixon Family Heath Centers' board of directors. This story is adapted from the speech she delivered at the grand opening of the Canyon Country Health Center on Nov. 17, 2000. Miriam Canty passed away Feb. 15, 2001, at age 84.
Miriam Canty
Miriam Canty