Monday, 22 July 2024

MCHC Health Centers welcomes Jennifer Rickard to MCHC Board of Directors

Jennifer Rickard. Courtesy photo.

UKIAH, Calif. – MCHC Health Centers is pleased to announce the addition of Jennifer Rickard to its board of directors.

Rickard is a community member with experience in both accounting and healthcare who believes everyone should have access to quality health care.

Rickard has been all over the world because her father served in the U.S. Air Force while she was growing up, and she has an insatiable love of travel. She says this gave her a deep appreciation for how fortunate we are in the United States.

“I’ve lived in and been to places where people were looking for their next meal, never mind staying up-to-date on their vaccinations. We take stuff for granted here, things like running water,” she said.

In part because of her upbringing, Rickard had been interested in medicine since her early childhood. During her undergraduate education, she considered going to medical school, but her knowledge of the healthcare industry soured her on the idea.

“I didn’t like how insurance companies dictated healthcare,” she explained.

So, she decided to go into accounting, a pragmatic choice in a field where “no insurance company would dictate how to do it,” she said.

She finished her undergraduate studies at CSU Sacramento, supporting herself by working for Caltrans in their accounts payable department, then as an auditor of long-term care facilities with the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development.

Rickard completed a Master of Business Administration degree at Andrews University in Michigan before landing a position in a hospital finance department in Orlando, Florida.

After a few years, she missed traveling so she became a field auditor for Darden Restaurants, Inc., the company that owns Olive Garden, The Capital Grille, and six other restaurants. She loved traveling all over the U.S. and Canada doing operations audits. After seven years with Darden, she began thinking again about her future, and about medicine.

Her husband, a nurse at the Ukiah Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic, encouraged her to follow her passion for medicine.

“My husband knew I wanted to be a physician, and I didn’t want to look back on my life with any regrets, so I went back to school,” she said.

She has since finished medical school and plans to specialize in anesthesiology. She is currently studying for her board exams and will apply to a residency program after that.

In the meantime, family friend Jerry Chaney, the MCHC board chair, asked Rickard if she would be interested in serving on the MCHC board, noting that her knowledge of finance and medicine makes her a wonderful asset.

MCHC CEO Carole Press said, “We are lucky to have Jennifer on our board. She brings a unique and valuable perspective.”

“I just want to help in any way I can,” she said. “I love that at MCHC, anyone can walk in the door and they won’t be turned away because they can’t afford to pay.”

MCHC Health Centers is a local non-profit organization providing access to comprehensive healthcare for people in Ukiah, Willits and Lakeport. All MCHC health centers accept Medi-Cal, Medicare, Covered California insurance and other insurance. Learn more at

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