Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Wagih Michael

On behalf of the Omni Family Health Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer Francisco L. Castillon, MPA:

We honor and remember Dr. Wagih Michael, former Chief Executive Officer of Omni Family Health, previously known as National Health Services, Inc. Dr. Michael passed away on July 1, 2024. His passing marks the end of an era, but his legacy of service will continue to inspire generations to come. Dr. Michael’s tenure as CEO, spanning from December 1985 to October 2010, was characterized by an enduring commitment to ensuring accessible healthcare for all. Under his leadership, the organization grew from two modest health centers located in Buttonwillow and Lost Hills, California, into a network of 13 health centers dedicated to serving the rural and agricultural communities of Kern County and several communities within the greater Bakersfield area.

According to Omni Family Health Board Member Susan Watkins, “Dr. Michael was passionate and dedicated to community health centers and their patients. I learned a lot from him as a young board member and use that knowledge even today as I continue to serve on the Omni Family Health Board of Directors. He devoted his life to advancing affordable, quality healthcare for all, and our community is better because of his contributions.

” Reflecting on Dr. Michael’s impact, Francisco L. Castillon, MPA, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Dr. Michael was my first supervisor when I entered the community health center movement after graduate school in the late 1970s. He was among an incredibly dedicated and mission-driven group of leaders who worked tirelessly to remove barriers to quality healthcare in underserved areas. As we mourn his passing, we are forever appreciative of his commitment to serving the individuals and families of Kern County, leaving a lasting impact on our local communities.”

Throughout his 25 years of service, Dr. Michael nurtured a team of professionals who continue to uphold the mission of Omni Family Health with passion and purpose. “Dr. Michael’s dedication to the organization and to his family was truly inspiring. He gave me a career opportunity at Omni Family Health, which ultimately shaped my professional journey. For that, I will always be grateful to him,” shared Aurora Ibarra, Chief Human Resources Officer. Milad Khalil, Chief Financial Officer, remembered, “I worked for Dr. Michael for 12 years, and he played a large part in my career development. I will be forever thankful for his leadership and friendship. Dr. Michael was a hands-on leader and had a heart for our patients, especially the farm-working community. His honesty, generosity, and compassion will not be forgotten.”

Dr. Michael’s contributions helped pave the way for a future where quality healthcare is accessible to all. With gratitude and admiration, we honor Dr. Michael for his commitment to accessible healthcare and his enduring legacy of service.

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