June 6, 2003

Scripps Memorial Hospital Chula Vista Opens Medical Clinic in Local High School

By Yvonne Silva

For many families, basic medical care is too costly. Thus, many families are at risk for health problems that, if they go undetected and untreated, may lead to serious health issues.

However, thanks to a collaborative project spearheaded by the Scripps Family Practice Residency Program at Scripps Memorial Hospital Chula Vista, medical care is now available to students and their families at Palomar High School in Chula Vista.

Principal Bernard Balanay of Palomar High School and Dr. Marianne McKennett, Program Director of Scripps Family Practice, cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of the first on-site clinic in the South Bay.

Palomar High recently opened a school-based health clinic that offers access to limited, no-cost medical services. The clinic, which is a satellite of the Scripps Otay Family Health Center, provides on-site care for acute medical problems and workshops on adolescent health topics. In addition, family physicians perform health evaluations, prescribe medications, and make referrals to medical facilities for advanced services. Faculty physicians and family practice residents of the Scripps Family Practice Residency Program provide care 8 a.m. to noon two days a week. The health clinic operates out of the campus nurse’s office.

The school-based clinic is run in conjunction with the Scripps Family Practice Residency Program, UCSD, San Diego Border Health Area Education Center, Scripps Memorial Hospital Chula Vista, Sweetwater Union High School District, and Open Door Youth and Family Resource Center.

“At Scripps Chula Vista, we are committed to increasing access to health care services to help improve the quality of life in our community. This is an example of how working together, we can all make a difference,” says John Grah, administrator at Scripps Memorial Hospital Chula Vista.

The program is a two-pronged approach designed to educate students and the Scripps medical residents. While the students are exposed to career pathways in the medical fields, family practice resident physicians develop the knowledge to care for young adults in the community, school and home, and acquire skills necessary to assess health needs of the Chula Vista and Otay Mesa region.

Scripps Health is a not-for-profit, community health care system that includes more than 2,600 affiliated physicians, five acute care hospitals, an ambulatory care network, and home health care. Scripps employs about 10,000 people and treats more than 525,000 patients annually.

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