A cancer survivor, former farmer, and current nonprofit healthcare leader, Bobby is a practical progressive who was raised in the Central Valley and understands first hand the unique culture and needs of the community.
The son of Hmong refugees, Bobby Bliatout's family fought alongside American soldiers to combat communism during the Vietnam War. With the help of the refugee resettlement program, Bobby's family sowed its roots right here in the Central Valley when he was four years old.
A SON OF THE VALLEY
When Bobby was growing up, father worked hard to provide for his family–taking a variety of jobs to make ends meet-from a Greyhound bus station janitor to a restaurant manager while he worked his way through college. Eventually, both of Bobby's parents saved enough money to open their own small business.
As a young man, street gangs and violence plagued his community. Bobby found his refuge in nature and education. He became an avid hunter and fisherman. As much as time would allow, Bobby took off into the Sierra foothills to hunt mule deer and fish for bass and trout. Bob also dedicated himself to his education, attending community college and eventually graduating from Cal State Bakersfield.
After graduating from Cal State University, Bakersfield, Bobby did what many Central Valley residents have done for generations–he became a farmer. While Bobby eventually realized full-time farming wasn't his passion, he still leases his farmland and has deep appreciation for agriculture.
TOUGH TIMES, BUT TOUGHER PEOPLE
Now, Bobby is the Chief Executive Officer of Fresno-based community clinics and a founder and Chief Information and Financial Officer of Sacramento-based community clinics. His clinics provide medical, dental, behavioral health and many other services to more than 100,000 patients and employs nearly 300 people.
But life was not always easy for Bobby and his wife Mouang -- a registered nurse. As they worked their way through school and began a family, Bobby and Mouang found it necessary to ask for government assistance to help feed their family for a short time. And shortly after starting the community clinics, Bobby tragically developed cancer.
While he is now blessed to be 5 years cancer-free, this experience shaped Bobby’s sensible and compassionate approach to public policy.