New doctor brings more services to rural East County

Mountain Health & Community services welcomes a new medical director

Courtesy Photo. Dr. Patrick Sweet III at Mountain Health & Commerce services.

There’s a new medical director at Mountain Health & Community Services, Inc.!

Dr. Patrick Sweet III is a confident Southern California native who easily chats with people whether it’s in a clinic or out in the field.

As a boy he dreamed of being a U.S. Navy fighter pilot. He is now a U.S. Navy veteran qualified to provide a variety of medical services in rural East San Diego County.

“I’m a full scope family doctor and I see all patients,” Sweet said during an interview. “I also see patients in the hospital. It’s better that I care for them because I know ‘em.”

Certified by the American Board of Family Medicine, Sweet has had specialized training in dermatologic, endoscopic, gynecologic and musculoskeletal procedures.

His basic surgery internship was at Naval Medical Center San Diego and he’s had four years of residency training in emergency medicine and anatomic pathology.

“Mountain Health is excited to welcome aboard our new Medical Director, Dr. Patrick Sweet, who has a passion to serve rural health communities,” said Rachel Shreve, Mountain Health chief operations officer assistant.

With seven locations in San Diego County, the new Mountain Health Family Medicine facility is at 1388 Buckman Springs Road in Campo.

The rural community is a long way from urban medical locations.

“The facility offers primary and family health care, preventive health, chronic disease management, behavioral health, dental services and X-Ray,” Shreve said. “Optometry and pharmacy is coming soon.”

She noted that providing the much-needed clinic has helped Mountain Health, a member of the Alpine Chamber of Commerce, build a strong alliance with the surrounding community.

It’s the kind of opportunity that Sweet, who has a history of teaching and mentoring resident physicians and medical students at UCSD and UC Riverside, knows how to use.

“I like helping people,” he said about his decision to work in medicine after discovering in college that he liked biology. “I think that I was made for this job.”

Dr. Sweet also will be working at the healthcare system’s Alpine Family Medicine in the Alpine Regional Center at 1620 Alpine Blvd.

“Campo is where the need is the most,” Sweet said. “There’s things that we can do for our patients so they don’t have to go to town, because we can do it here.  I’m like a one-stop shop. There’s nothing that’s too advanced that we can’t help with.”

As a medical officer in the active and now reserve U.S. Navy, Dr. Sweet has deployed

with the USS Makin Island, been team physician to reserve Sea, Air and Land (SEAL) Team 17 and battalion surgeon to a battalion light armored reconnaissance unit. He’s now a 14th Marine Regiment surgeon.

Sweet is also a volunteer appointee as a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) medical manager and direct supervisor to Urban Search and Rescue medics during major disasters.

He’s not all business, of course. On the personal side, Sweet and his wife, who is a psychiatrist, have two young sons.

“I like off-roading, hunting and fishing and watching my boys play sports,” he said.