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San Ysidro Health Dedicated to the Traditionally Underserved

San Ysidro Health does not turn anyone away in the 47 program sites where they operate full-time throughout San Diego County.

San Ysidro Health, a non-profit organization in San Diego, offers the highest quality, most compassionate, culturally-competent health care services that are easily accessible and affordable for the entire family.

The organization makes a tremendous impact in the communities they serve by showing dedication to the traditionally underserved and culturally diverse San Diego region. SYHC cares for everyone in need regardless of their insurance coverage or ability to pay.

Check out the video above to see the incredible services at San Ysidro Health, or read the video transcription we’ve provided below (lightly edited for clarity).

Communities Served by San Ysidro Health

Ana Melgoza, External Affairs Vice President of San Ysidro Health (00:01) – The mission of San Ysidro Health is to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve with access for all. And that really says a lot because what it says is, we do not turn anyone away in the 47 program sites where we operate throughout San Diego County.

We have 108,000 lives in our care. And we’re able to offer many working families and underinvested areas, medical, dental, behavioral health services that are needed now more than ever.

San Ysidro Health

Maria Carriedo-Ceniceros, MD, VP & Chief Medical Officer (00:27) – For the most part we do serve a lot of the underserved populations. A lot of the need is more of your health maintenance or chronic disease management. Based on the health disparities in the communities we serve, they tend to have a higher rate of some of the chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

History of San Ysidro Health

AM (00:45) – Started with a group of seven founding mothers that organized because the only doctor in San Ysidro at the time was going to leave to go work in Chula Vista. So instead of giving up, they actually organized and founded a little clinic in a little white house that was volunteer driven. And who would have known 52 years later that we would be where we are today.

COVID Response and Relief

MC (01:08) – It was no surprise to us when the pandemic hit that our population was hit the hardest. So we were seeing rates in our community four or five times higher than the rest of the county.

AM (01:18) – Throughout COVID, we have been extremely fortunate to receive so many generous donations to help us meet the need at hand. Many of our communities where we live and operate were experiencing COVID four to five times higher than the rest of the county.

We stepped in right away and provided not only COVID kits, where we were able to supply families with a thermometer, hand sanitizer, as well as other products to make sure their home was safe for the entire family, we were able to raise nearly $800,000 for our COVID Relief Fund. Many of them were first time donors and we don’t want to lose that momentum.

MC (01:56) – So it wasn’t just one site where we treated COVID patients. There was a period of time where we became a MARC – Monoclonal Antibody Regional Center for COVID treatment, which is the outpatient treatment.

We’ve always seen our role not just providing services, but really advocating for our patients. And so we knew that we needed to provide the education, the outreach, the resources for our patients so they understood not only the disease, what they were facing, how to keep themselves safe, and then how to prepare for the vaccine.

We played a big role I think in the vaccination efforts. And while early on, we were seeing our numbers of infections four to five times higher than the rest of the community, now we’re seeing our vaccination rates the highest in a community.

AM (02:42) – We were able to bring the entire region to a healthy level that allowed us to open up and start their recovery process. And that to me, there’s such a life lesson there. That’s how interdependent we are. So what’s good for San Ysidro Health really is good for the rest of the region, for us to thrive.

Here’s another story of an amazing individual creating positive change in the community: Mask maker Zarco Guerrero celebrates cultural diversity through his art.