NEVADA CITY, CA – While the nation’s elected officials will honor the work of Community Health Centers around the country the week of August 7 – 13, local clinic Sierra Family Health Center will be celebrating its own patients and staff members.

Dr. Peter Van Houten

“This year marks the 40th anniversary of the clinic’s founding, and we never lose sight of the fact that our patients and staff are at the center of our service and the reason we are here,” says Peter Van Houten, MD and Founder.

National Health Center Week honors community health centers like Sierra Family as the backbone of the nation’s primary care system. By caring for individuals and families with the most appropriate level of care, they help reserve higher-cost care, like emergency room visits or specialists, for those who need them most.

The clinic model helps lower national health care costs by an estimated 24 billion dollars a year, while significantly reducing rates of chronic disease.

Sierra Family Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center serving 5,000 patients each year in Nevada and Yuba counties with comprehensive care, including medical, dental, behavioral health and chiropractic services under one roof.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Amy Nielsen is one of the providers at Sierra Family Health Center, who will be celebrated as part of National Health Center Week. Sierra Family is a Federally Qualified Health Center serving over 5,000 patients in Yuba and Nevada Counties.

“What sets our practice apart is our understanding that a person isn’t just a body, a mind, a diagnosis, or a set of circumstances,” says Van Houten. “We treat the entire person and we have embedded therapists in our medical practice from the beginning.”

This year, the clinic will provide patients with water bottles during National Health Center Week, and the staff will celebrate with food and special activities.

“Our staff is the heartbeat of Sierra Family,” says Debra Plass, CEO. “We love additional opportunities to say thanks to this amazing and compassionate team, and we invite others to do the same.”

Sierra Family providers coordinate a variety of care for their patients and adhere to their mission to provide the highest quality services to all, regardless of ability to pay or health insurance status.

The clinic accepts government and private insurance, including Medi-Cal and Medicare, and offers a sliding fee for uninsured patients. For more information, visit or call 530-292-3478.