From community organizer to CEO of community health centers, Bill Hobson has been a force for change in this country, bringing affordable health care to those who need it most.
It all started in 1968. As a community organizer for the West End Community Council in the inner city of Cincinnati, Hobson helped bring about the West End Clinic. But one community health center wasn’t enough for Hobson and soon, in 1969, he was helping community residents organize the Lincoln Heights Community Health Center on the outskirts of Cincinnati.
Hobson left Cincinnati in 1970 to take a position in the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health System, in what previously had been the Bureau of Community Health Services. There, he worked on both migrant health center programs and the transfer of neighborhood health centers from one governmental department to another.
Then it was on to Seattle. He volunteered for a transfer to the Region X Office of the U.S. Department of Health Education and Welfare where he worked as a project officer for community health centers and assisted in the development of comprehensive migrant health centers in most of the major agricultural valleys in the Northwest.
Hobson climbed the management ladder, becoming the executive director of Central Seattle Community Health Centers, a consortium of five community health centers in Seattle. He served in that position from 1977 to 1996.
Hobson made his mark in migrant health and is a key leader in the country in providing migrant health care to farm workers. From 2000 to 2003, he served as the deputy director and, later, as the acting director of the Bureau of Primary Health Care, Health Resources and Services Administration.
Never one to rest on his laurels, Hobson soon moved on to tackle health-care services in the Watts section of Los Angeles, one of the most economically disadvantaged communities in the country. From 2003 to 2014, he served as president and CEO of Watts Healthcare Corporation.
Throughout his career, Hobson has been involved in leading community health care centers on a state, regional and national level. He was active in establishing the Northwest Primary Care Association and the Washington State Primary Care Association in the 1980s, and he served as president of the National Association of Community Health Centers for two terms in the mid-1980s and as a board member of NACHC for many years.
Hobson also served as a representative from the state of California for the California Primary Care Association for several years. He has worked extensively with managed care since 1977 and recently served as vice president of the Health Care LA, the largest safety net independent practice association in the state of California.
From yeoman to executive, Bill Hobson has devoted his life and stellar career to community health centers.
“I have enjoyed the comradery of community health care workers and the close association with the communities in which I have worked and the sense of direct service to needy patients,” said Hobson. “I feel that the value of CHCs is their ability to attract committed health-care providers to areas of high need to work in efficient community-responsive primary care centers.”