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MedicAlert continues growth with eye on future
MedicAlert 2
MedicAlert production associate Martha Bamber polishes a bracelet to go out to a customer. MedicAlert offers products ranging from bracelets to dog tags in various colors and metals. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

Dr. Marion and Chrissie Collins of Turlock designed the first MedicAlert emblem and bracelet 55 years ago after their daughter Linda experienced a near-fatal allergic reaction. Today, Linda’s original bracelet is exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and the internationally-recognized MedicAlert emblem is worn by approximately 4 million people to alert emergency personnel to hidden medical conditions.

”I think I can save more lives with MedicAlert than I’ll ever save with my scalpel,” stated Marion Collins in 1956.

Little did he know his invention would save countless lives over the next 55 years.

“Our motto is ‘we speak for you,’” explained MedicAlert Marketing Coordinator Jillian Megee. “If you are unconscious and can’t speak, you can’t tell a doctor what allergies you have or what medications you are taking.”

With diabetes and complex medical conditions increasing, doctors recommend that more and more people should have vital emergency information about themselves handy at all times. With higher demand, the non-profit MedicAlert is continuing to grow its expanding line of products to fit modern styles and lifestyles. From designer watches to shoe lace clips, customers can live with the peace of mind that medical responders will know their story.

Turlock-based MedicAlert employs 120 people and serves dozens of countries across the world. In future months and years MedicAlert expects continued growth with an aging population.

Current MedicAlert President and CEO Andrew B. Wigglesworth understands Dr. Collins’ message.

“I have seen firsthand the enthusiasm and dedication of our volunteers, staff, and voluntary board of directors, who are proud to be a part of this foundation and its lifesaving mission. Dr. Collins would have been extremely pleased to see MedicAlert’s growth and our ability to continually advance emergency medical information and identification services,” said Wigglesworth.

As part of the foundation’s 55th anniversary, MedicAlert will be passing an additional 10 percent savings to Central Valley residents, in appreciation of the community who has supported the foundation for the past 55 years.

In the Central Valley, there are thousands of individuals and families who have health conditions or needs that would benefit from a MedicAlert membership. In fact, according to the California Department of Public Health, there are over 1 million Californians with asthma, diabetes, heart disease, a mental health need or healthy weight issues in the counties of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera and Fresno alone (more than half of the total population).

“Each year we get about 5,000 emergency calls and there really is no way of measuring all the calls we don’t get because of the MedicAlert bracelets,” said Megee.

For more information on MedicAlert, visit

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.