San Ysidro Health opens its newest clinic in El Cajon on Dec. 21. San Ysidro Health – El Cajon is an innovative state-of-the-art health center to serve 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.
“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 these communities that we serve for the services that 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 that need access to care that 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 for the entire community.
“It is psychiatrists, phycologists, 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 Ana Melgoza said Mattson and the board is committed to try not to turn anyone away and to be assessable 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 we operate. Instead of contracting, we are expanding. In any other universe this would be unheard of, but in our universe, now more than ever. 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 program addresses the healthcare needs of frail elderly 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 ninety percent of our patients are under 200% of the federal poverty level,” said Mattson. “About 25% of our patients are under insured, 60% 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 by calling 619-662-4100. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This content was paid for by San Ysidro Health Center.