San Ysidro Health Clinic opens new facility in East County

San Ysidro Health opens its newest clinic in El Cajon on Mon­day, Dec. 21. San Ysidro Health – El Cajon is an innovative, state-of-the-art health center serving people in East County.

Located at 875 El Cajon Blvd., the clinic offers medical and primary care services, a full di­agnostic laboratory and trans­portation services. This is the fourth San Ysidro Healthcare facility in East County, joining its other centers in Alpine, Cam­po and Santee.

San Ysidro Health CEO/Pres­ident Kevin Mattson said SY Health began services in East County four years ago when the Chaldean and Middle East­ern Social Services clinic faced financial distress and needed help. He said they quickly real­ized that the needs were much greater than the two-doctor clin­ic on South Magnolia Avenue could handle.

“We were not in East County, did not know the market, but when we see a community that needs services, we are willing to step into that role,” he said. “There is so much need in the communities we serve for the services we provide that we want to make sure that com­munity need is met. In today’s economy there are a lot of under-insured in that population who need access to care and need clinics like San Ysidro Health. There is more need than we can provide.”

New additions in El Cajon in­clude dental and chiropractic services, and behavioral health services for patients needing counseling and therapy appoint­ments. Mattson said it works with the county at the CMSS clinic for the Chaldean commu­nity serving many PTSD pa­tients, but the services offered at this clinic is for the day-to-day behavioral health needs of the entire community.

“It is psychiatrists, psycholo­gists, licensed clinical social workers and family therapists providing more routine day-to-day depression, anxiety and other behavioral health needs,” he said. “I think when COVID-19 is over we are going to see a lot of new behavioral health issues. Hopefully they will be lower level so we can work with them with our staff and counselors. There is a huge need.”

San Ysidro Health Vice Presi­dent of External Affairs Ans Melgoza said Mattson and the board are committed to trying not to turn anyone away and be as accessible to the public as possible, even during the pan­demic.

“Many providers have seen a stop in services, and we have piv­oted and done the opposite,” she said. “We were able to bring our staff back. We are 2,000 strong and we are hiring in El Cajon and Chula Vista. We want to hire from the community where we operate. Instead of contracting, we are expanding. In any other universe this would be unheard of.

“To be able to invest in our brand and our care in East County is big for us. We started with a small community clinic that welcomed us and built a re­lationship. It is no longer a Chal­dean or Middle Eastern focus. The clinic is for everyone. And right now, everyone needs our help. We have been fortunate that many of our patients have stayed with us forever.”

The clinic’s San Diego Pro­gram of all inclusive care for the elderly addresses the health­care needs of frail individuals 55 years or older. SD PACE pro­vides a variety of care including medication, physical therapy, meals, transportation, day pro­grams for socialization and oth­er services.

Melgoza said co-locating SD PACE is rare, but it gives the clinic the ability to take care of an entire family.

“Our community can age safely at home and have a bet­ter quality of life than in the nursing homes, where we see that COVID-19 has devastated them,” she said. “We are proud to partner with El Cajon, our re­ferral partners, the community, and we really want to be utilized as much as possible.”

San Ysidro Health has specifi­cally trained staff to assist pa­tients with applying for health care coverage.

“The high 90 percent of our patients are under 200 percent of the federal poverty level,” said Mattson. “About 25 percent of our patients are under-insured, 60 percent are on Medi-Cal. Without federally qualified community health centers in these areas there would not be anyone there to serve this popu­lation.”

Due to COVID-19 safety pre­cautions, walk-in appointments are not available currently. Ap­pointments can be made at 619- 662-4100. Hours of operation: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday, 7 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This content was paid for by San Ysidro Health Center.

San Ysidro Health Clinic opens new facility in East County

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