West Oakland Health Announces the Passing of one Its Founding Members
Olivia Parks, one of the founding members of West Oakland Health (WOH), born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1935, passed away on December 5, 2022, at the age of 87 in Oakland, California.
Watch WOH’s 50th Anniversary Video
WOH was founded 55 years ago during the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements by four Black mothers who are affectionately known as The Founding Four: Jessie Hamilton, Edith Brown, Olivia Parks, and Cloteal Davis. Together they launched West Oakland Health to help meet the health needs of the Black community in West Oakland. The Founding Four are survived by Cloteal Davis.
Together they launched West Oakland Health to help meet the health needs of the Black community in West Oakland.
Their vision was to create a place that served the needs of their community as an alternative to existing healthcare institutions that were either inaccessible or did not understand or care to understand the needs of the Black community in West Oakland.
WOH quickly became a community hub for healthcare, food, and housing programs, and for voter registration resources and information. Today, it serves over 7,000 patients across five sites in the East Bay, with a wide range of healthcare and human services. Services provided include high quality comprehensive adult and family medicine, pediatric health care, dental care, optometry, podiatry, behavioral health services, and pharmacies at two locations.
Thanks to The Founding Four, West Oakland Health became the first health center in the East Bay and supported the formation of other community health centers to serve the East Bay’s diverse populations. West Oakland Health is proud to carry on the legacy that Ms. Davis, Ms. Parks, Ms. Brown, and Ms. Hamilton built and is more committed than ever to ensuring that the East Bay’s Black and low-income communities have access to high quality health and human services.
Learn more about West Oakland Health HERE.