Variety Care developed from a merger between Oklahoma Community Health Services and Variety Health Center. With the shared history of serving low-income individuals and their families, this merger was ideal to serve more patients and provide them with more services. Variety Care will serve more than 50,000 patients in 2010.
The histories of Variety Health Center (VHC) and Oklahoma Community Health Services (OCHS) have paralleled and intersected over the years. VHC was established by the Junior League in 1932 during the great depression, with medical services first provided in the Walnut Grove neighborhood just south of the Canadian River in Oklahoma City. It became a strong United Way partner, which was its major funding source for many years.
Oklahoma Community Health Services, first known as Southeast Area Health Center (SEAHC) had its start in 1972, when a group of concerned southeast Oklahoma City residents challenged the lack of access to health care. Their eventual success helped lead to Oklahoma City receiving the All American City Award in 1978 for citizen action, effective organization, and community improvement. The local organizers agreed to become a satellite location of the only area Community Health Center (CHC) in 1977. WIC, the maternal and child nutrition program, was initiated in 1979.
Variety Care operations' CEO and executive director is Lou Carmichael. Andrew Rice is the executive director of Variety Care Foundation. Leadership, providers and staff at Variety Care are resolved that health care should be accessible and affordable for the communities they serve.