Ten years ago today (May 24, 2010), we registered incorporation papers for Sacramento Medical Oasis, Inc. We had started planning in the depths of the Great Recession of 2008. They county mental health system was contemplating cutting off services to thousands of patients with behavioral illness (stopped only by a federal judge’s injunction). Tens of millions of Americans were without access to health insurance of any kind and could only access health care by becoming bankrupt and then getting in line for notoriously under-funded indigent care.

We were idealists, and thought that we could practice medicine outside of a system run by and for the health insurance industry. Now, ten years on, I can confidently say that the grand experiment was a success. We haven’t gotten rich (that was never the goal). We haven’t revolutionized health care (that would have been nice, but wasn’t ever likely). But we have been privileged to help a lot of folks improve their well-being and manage difficult health problems. Every day, I feel honored to share the triumphs and tragedies of the diverse and wonderful group of people who trust us to provide their care.

Our first two receptionists, Nina and Kristy, launched medical careers of their own and are now both working as registered nurses. Our office manager, Amy, has made a career of making Oasis what it is today. With the Affordable Care Act, most of our patients can now obtain health insurance of some kind so are protected should they have major medical adventures. We had to move when our original storefront got redeveloped. Through it all, I believe we have retained our core values and been true to our original dream.

Here’s to the next ten!