Stephen Schilling: July 2016 Outstanding Advocate

schillingNACHC’s advocacy team is excited to announce the Outstanding Advocate for July 2016, Stephen Schilling, CEO of Clinica Sierra Vista (CSV) in Bakersfield, California. In addition to providing healthcare to patients for over four decades as the leader of CSV, Schilling has donated his time and expertise to countless individuals through educational and clinical opportunities for students and interns, as an integral member of several advisory boards, and as a frequent guest lecturer as an expert in his field. NACHC is pleased to recognize Mr. Schilling for his tireless advocacy efforts over the years by honoring him as this month’s Outstanding Advocate.

Clinica Sierra Vista, which began as a storefront warehouse in Weedpatch, California over forty years ago, has evolved into one of the largest, private, non-profit, community-based organizations in the country under Schilling’s leadership. Today, CSV operates more than 70 community health centers that provide multi-specialty medical, dental, and preventive healthcare and outreach services to patients throughout the California counties of Kern, Fresno, and Inyo. Schilling currently employs over 1,150 people at CSV, managing a budget of $110 million, and serving over 200,000 patients.

With such a large service network and as such a large employer, Schilling understands the importance of tapping into those networks for advocacy purposes and encouraging folks to use their voice to stand up for Health Centers. For the Access is the Answer campaign alone, CSV secured more than 4,500 petition signatures and over 50 letters from local businesses, elected officials, and partner organizations to help fix the Health Center Funding Cliff. CSV was recognized in November 2015 as one of California’s “Access All-Stars.”

schilling_gradIn June, the California State University Board of Trustees recognized Schilling for his excellence and extraordinary achievement in significant areas of human endeavors, for his service to CSU and humanity at large, and for setting an example for the CSU student body, by awarding him an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. He was also awarded NACHC’s John Gilbert Award in 2009 and inducted into the Grassroots Hall of Fame in Spring 2011 for his lasting contributions in ensuring the “creation, survival, and strength of Health Centers and the Health Center Movement through dedicated and tireless efforts over many years.”

Kudos and thank you, Stephen, for your incredible advocacy efforts and for all that you do at CSV, your community, and for the patients you serve!


Do you know an Outstanding Advocate who deserves this recognition? Let us know! Email Elizabeth Kwasnik at

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