MedicAlert will once again be calling Turlock home as the Foundation announced plans on Tuesday that it will be returning to the town where it was founded.
MedicAlert Foundation was founded in Turlock more than 60 years ago by Dr. Marion Collins. His 14-year-old daughter, Linda cut her finger and required stitches at the local hospital. Within moments of receiving the tetanus toxin, Linda went into anaphylactic shock and almost died. The incident inspired the idea of engraved medical bracelets that would alert health workers of allergies and other medical conditions.
The Foundation operated in Turlock until 2015, when it relocated to Salida.
“In 2015, the Foundation was uniquely positioned to both monetize on its magnificent headquarters and reduce operational expenses associated with such a large space, so we sold the building owned by the Foundation and moved to a rental space in Salida,” said MedicAlert spokesperson Kate Varnum. “While our days in Salida have been successful and memorable, the team greatly missed access to the culture and amenities of downtown Turlock and the feeling that comes with being part of the Turlock community – one that has been so welcoming and warm to the Foundation over the years. So many of our employees have been with us for 10, 20, 30 even 40 years. MedicAlert and Turlock are synonymous to our employees, our members and our brand.”
At the time of the move MedicAlert had looked for another location in Turlock, but nothing was available that fit the Foundation’s needs.
The Foundation will be moving to 101 Lander Avenue, a location that was once a bank and then a county building.
“It’s an amazing building with a lot of history and we’ve been working closely with the developer/owner, Alan Vallarine, a partner that both knew and loved the Foundation,” Varnum said. “The choice was easy. The lease has been signed and we’re working closely with Dr. Vallarine’s team under the direction of Modesto-based API’s principal architect Frank Boots and Turlock-based builder Bryan Royea of Valroy Construction to customize the space to our needs. We are right now on track to move in sometime in March 2019 (anticipated date). We are so thankful we found a space that has heritage like us, but room to modernize and make our own.”
The Foundation has two offices — one in California and one in New York. The New York office primarily concentrates on marketing and partnerships. The Salida branch has 56 employees, all of which are expected to move to the Turlock site.
“The focus of the Foundation in 2019 is on growth and value — working to ensure we’re poised to best serve our existing members and growing our membership base to make sure even more people have access to our life-saving services,” Varnum said. “With that in mind, our California location (soon to be Turlock) is the hub of our operations and our member servicing. As our FY19 strategies come to fruition, we hope to expand as needed, most likely in our new Turlock location.”
In 2015, MedicAlert Foundation sold its building on the corner of Colorado Avenue and Tuolumne Road to Turlock Christian Schools for $4.55 million.