Category Archives: News


  “Beacons in Tough Times”

 May 29, 2014, SAN DIEGO, CA—San Ysidro Health Center is pleased to announce its recent recognition by as among the top 25 Hispanic nonprofits in the nation in 2014.  This special recognition ranks San Ysidro Health Center as No. 7 overall—a social enterprise that has responded to the challenge of tough economic times with creativity, innovation and perseverance.

The second-largest Federally Qualified Health Center in the region, the mission of San Ysidro Health Center is “to “improve the health and well-being of our community’s traditionally underserved and culturally diverse people.”  With a growing network of 27 health centers and programs in Southern, Southeastern, and Central San Diego, San Ysidro Health Center brings essential medical, dental, and counseling services to over 86,000 registered patients, representing 380,000+ patient visits, the majority of whom are women, children and seniors.

“We have doubled our capacity in preparation for the influx of new patients under the Affordable Care Act and are able to provide high quality, culturally proficient, patient-centered care to more members of our community,” said SYHC President and CEO Kevin Mattson. identified nonprofit organizations from Internet database lists of tax-exempt organizations in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. A list of these organizations was sorted by financial criteria and screened for descriptions related to Hispanic issues. Qualified organizations were sent a survey asking for information. Organizations were ranked on the basis of annual expenditures.

The complete list of 2014 Top 25 Hispanic Nonprofits is available at

KPBS Chula Vista Health Clinic Article

Chula Vista Health Clinic Puts Patient-Friendly Design First

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

By Kenny Goldberg

Evening Edition By Nicholas Mcvicker

 You can tell there’s something different about the Chula Vista Medical Center as soon as you walk in the door.

Instead of your standard directory with providers listed in alphabetical order, there’s a brightly colored sign with nature photographs.

Terry Whitaker is chief operating officer of the San Ysidro Health Center, which oversees the Chula Vista clinic. He explained each of the building’s three floors has its own theme, linked by a photo icon.

“So for registration and all the first floor, it’s a desert theme photo that’s attached to each of the departments,” Whitaker said. “For the second floor, it’s an ocean theme. And for the third floor, it’s a mountain theme.”

Whitaker said to make it easier for patients to find their way, the appointment cards have photo icons, too.

“So, patients come in, they don’t remember where they were last time,” Whitaker said. “All they have to do is match up that photo with the icon that’s on this directory.”

Upstairs, the exam rooms have hardwood floors and pastel-colored walls. All of the doctors, nurses, and medical assistants sit together in large, open spaces.

Dr. Maria Carriedo-Ceniceros, the center’s chief medical officer, said there’s a good reason for that.

“We want better communication. We want them to work together as a team,” she explained. “The whole concept of a patient-centered medical home is that the patient is at the center of the care, and everybody on the care team is involved in their care.”

It’s part of a new trend in primary care: integrating all members of the medical staff into one unit.

Carriedo-Ceniceros said under the old system, physicians stayed in their offices between appointments, away from other team members.

The idea behind the new concept is that having everyone in a single area fosters more collaboration and better care.

Carriedo-Ceniceros said patients have noticed the difference.

“This clinic, since we’ve opened, has received the highest patient satisfaction scores,” she said. “This past month was 96.1, which is extremely high. Better wait time, better interaction, higher scores in courtesy and professionalism by staff, by providers. It’s been very positive.”

The San Ysidro Health Center has a network of clinics throughout the South Bay.

About 1 in 4 households in the area makes less than $35,000 a year. More than half the San Ysidro Health Center’s 85,000 clients are uninsured.

Part of their new mission is helping people sign up for insurance under Covered California. So the new clinic really fills a need.

There are other community clinics in the South Bay, but none with the wide array of services under one roof, that the Chula Vista Medical Plaza has.

In addition to primary care and pediatrics, there’s an urgent care center, behavioral health, and even dentistry, all in the same building.

Patients no longer have to go to multiple locations to get all their needs met. Laura Borbon is severely anemic. She comes to the clinic a couple of times a week for treatment.

Third-year medical resident Cristina Deis checks up on patient Laura Borbon, who's being treated for anemia.

By Nicholas McVicker

Third-year medical resident Cristina Deis checks up on patient Laura Borbon, who’s being treated for anemia.

“If I walk in somewhere and I feel that I’m not getting the attention, I will turn around and leave,” Borbon said. “So, I’ve liked it here very much. They’re very alert, they’re always there to help. So it’s a great place.”

Cristina Deis, a third-year resident in family medicine, said this clinic is a cut above most community health centers.

“It’s pretty, but I think it goes beyond that. It gives patients a sense of pride,” she explained. “They’re proud to come to this clinic, they’re proud to say this is where they receive their medical care. And especially in a setting where a large proportion of the patients are under served, I think that that says a lot.”

Since it opened five months ago, the Chula Vista Medical Plaza has treated 13,000 people.

The San Ysidro Health Center hosts ribbon cutting ceremony for Chula Vista Medical Plaza

New state-of-the-art facility in central Chula Vista responds to high level of need with innovations in patient-centered care

SAN DIEGO, CA— On January 25, 2014, regional health champion The San Ysidro Health Center (SYHC) hosted elected officials and civic leaders for a ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the opening of its newest and largest satellite clinic, The Chula Vista Medical Plaza (CVMP) located at 678 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista, CA 91910.
Dignitaries in attendance to celebrate the unprecedented expansion of state-of-the-art health services in the South County included Hon. Lorena Gonzalez, representing CA 80th Assembly District and Hon. Greg Cox, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. City of Chula Vista Mayor Hon. Cheryl Cox, Councilmember Mary Salas and Councilmember Pamela Bensoussan were also in attendance for a ceremony that included reflections from members of the SYHC provider family describing the impact CVMP will have in connecting the most medically underserved families with holistic, culturally appropriate comprehensive health services.
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Supervisor Greg Cox to Host Town Hall Meeting On New Healthcare Law


San Diego County Supervisor Greg Cox, along with San Ysidro Health Center, hosts a
town hall meeting on The Affordable Care Act. The meeting will provide
information and resources to people who are interested in obtaining health insurance
through the new federal law and will attempt to clear up any confusion by
answer questions and providing facts.

Specialists will be on hand to assist attendees with the enrollment process.

The town hall will be held in English with simultaneous Spanish
translation. There will also be a resource fair.

WHEN: 6 p.m., Tuesday, November 5th
WHERE: SYHC Adult Day Health Center 3364 Beyer Blvd., San Ysidro, CA 92173

Mobile Medical Units Open House

San Ysidro Health Center and Northgate González Markets host mobile medical units dedication ceremony and community Open House Friday, October 11, 2013

State-of- the-art Mobile Medical Units Link the Community to Health Services 

EVENT Healthy Steps Ribbon Cutting dsc115   xsm 10 11 2013

San Ysidro Health Center celebrates the inauguration of its new fleet of state-of-the art mobile medical units, known as The Healthy Steps Program, at Northgate González Markets.  The Dedication Ceremony will begin at 10:00 a.m. with tours of the mobile units, a mini health fair, plus education and enrollment assistance for the historic Affordable Care Act and Covered California™ —the new marketplace for affordable, private health insurance. The ribbon-cutting speakers’ program will commence at 10:20 a.m.

The Healthy Steps Program is one of SYHC’s premiere outreach programs connecting vulnerable families to a permanent medical home for essential health services.  Last year, 3,000 patients were treated on the mobile medical units and connected with continual medical, dental and behavioral health care at one of SYHC’s ten clinics.

SPECIAL GUESTS:              
Kevin Mattson, CEO and President of The San Ysidro Health Center
Victor González, Vice President, Northgate González Markets
CA State Senator Ben Hueso, representing the 40th District
Nick Macchione, Director of Health and Human Services, County of San Diego
Mexican General Consul Maria de los Remedios Gomez Arnau
Frank Urtasun, Vice President, SDG&E External Affairs

Northgate González Market, 1410 S. 43rd Street, San Diego, CA 92113

Parking Information
Free parking is available in the Northgate González Market lot

SAVE THE DATE – San Ysidro Health Center’s 8th Annual Clásico de Golf – September 30, 2013


San Ysidro Health Center Schedules 8th Annual Clásico de Golf on September 30, 2013

Contact Person: May Medallada ( (858) 453-9600

San Ysidro, CA – San Ysidro Health Center will hold its 8th Annual Clásico de Golf on Monday, September 30, 2013 at the San Diego Country Club. Business Copier Solutions is the title sponsor for the tournament.

With a 10 a.m. shotgun starting format, the golf fundraiser has green fees of $600 per golfer, with foursomes at $2,000. Registration includes 18 holes of golf, a golf cart, all food and beverages, and an awards dinner that immediately follows play. Awards dinner tickets are available for non-playing guests.

This year’s tournament benefits the Chula Vista Medical Plaza, an extraordinary new 46,000 square foot facility offering comprehensive health care for underserved children and adults. The state-of-the-art medical plaza provides primary care, urgent care, dental and behavioral health services – all designed to assure a patient-centered experience that’s comprehensive, high quality, and affordable.

Operated by San Ysidro Health Center, the new Chula Vista Medical Plaza will directly benefit from the 8th Annual Clásico de Golf, and all golfers participating in the Clásico are invited on personal tours of the new Plaza.

Register online for the Clásico de Golf at For additional information, please contact Jacqueline Silverman at (858) 385-7733 or by email at

San Ysidro Health Center Names Its Executive Team

Team will prepare organization for ACA implementation

July 30, 2013

San Ysidro, CA – San Ysidro Health Center’s (SYHC) Board of Trustees has named Kevin Mattson as the organization’s President and CEO, Tony Weber as Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Maria Carriedo-Ceniceros, MD as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Alicia Rodriguez, MBA as Vice President and Chief Information Officer and Ana Melgoza, MPA, as Vice President of External Affairs.

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 Medi-Cal – No deadline! Apply any time of the year!

Covered California enrollment is now closed until next fall. But if you have a special life event, you may still qualify to enroll now.


 (Income & CA residency requirements apply) 

Click Here for Details     


If you are uninsured, San Ysidro Health can help you find NO COST or LOW COST health coverage regardless of your income, health or immigration status!

Health Insurance Hotline

(619) 600-3000

Monday – Friday 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

San Ysidro Health’s Certified Eligibility Specialists can help you:

  • Apply for Covered California, Medi-Cal
  • Renew existing Medi-Cal plans (Deadline is 90 days after receiving your letter)
  • Medi-Cal Health Plan Changes (Can be changed at any time during the year)
  • Temporary or Emergency Medi-Cal Coverage (Presumptive Eligibility)
  • Update changes in income or household information




The Affordable Care Act law provides more protection and benefits than ever before! Many people do not realize that prior to the law passing, insurance companies could deny individuals coverage if they had a chronic condition such as diabetes or cancer; they could raise the cost of monthly premiums at any time for any reason. In other words, the new law protects consumers and prevents health insurance companies from denying coverage or dropping you if you get sick.

As of 2013, all health insurance plans, including Medi-Cal, are required to cover the same 10 Essential Benefits. This makes it easier to compare prices and understand what you are paying for.


  1. Preventive and wellness services (such as immunizations, health screening tests for Cancer, Diabetes,HIV, etc.), birth control, breast feeding supplies, domestic violence counseling.
  2. Medical services
  3. Emergency services
  4. Hospitalization
  5. Maternity and newborn care
  6. Mental health and substance use disorder services
  7. Prescription drugs
  8. Rehabilitative services and devices
  9. Laboratory services
  10. Pediatric services


There are various ways to get information and assistance. Regardless of the information out there, it is recommended that you consult with a CERTIFIED enrollment counselor or insurance agent. These individuals are certified by Covered CA to provide FREE counseling and application assistance. You should never be required to pay a fee, so beware of scammers that charge a fee to provide this service.

Visit any of our 14 convenient locations to speak to our Certified Enrollment Specialist

For more information on scams and how Covered CA protects consumers, check out this page


The majority of the population has health insurance through their employer. Others have VA health benefits, Medicare, COBRA or some other type of private insurance. The rest have two other options: Medi-Cal and Covered CA. 


Medi-Cal is a state sponsored program where low income individuals/families may be eligible for FREE or LOW-COST health insurance that covers more benefits than ever before. Several changes have been made to the program to now allow more people to qualify. The following new groups are now eligible:

  • All children up to the age of 19, regardless of their immigration status
  • Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Recipients
  • Low income adults without children
  • Adults under the age of 65 who were previously denied due to the “asset test” (they used to count the value of your home or car as income but no longer do this).

NOTE: Income and CA residency requirements apply for every applicant. For more information on eligibility, click here.


If you don’t qualify for Medi-Cal, you can purchase low-cost private health insurance with the possibility of qualifying for financial assistance to help pay for it. As of 2013, every health insurance plan is required to cover the same services (see 10 Essential Benefits Above) including a FREE annual physical (also called a preventive exam). In San Diego the health insurance plans you can choose from include  1) Blue Shield 2) Health Net 3) Kaiser 4) Molina and 5) Sharp. The differences between the plans are the doctors and hospitals in the network, extra benefits and out-of pocket costs (co-pays, deductibles).

For those who purchase a plan, the monthly premium cost depends on these factors: 1) Number of people in your household (head of household, spouse, children or dependents); 2) Household Income (combined incomes of all members over the age of 18); 3) Ages of those in need of health insurance; 4) Zip Code and 5) Level of Coverage – you will pay a higher amount if you choose a plan that pays for more of your care.

Financial assistance (called tax credits or subsidies) is available for most people with incomes of less than $48,560. These individuals can receive the “discount” at the time of purchase OR wait to get the credit at the time of tax filing. Many individuals and families may also qualify for tax credits to pay for out-of-pocket expenses (such as co-pays).

You can visit the Covered California website for information on the insurance plans and financial assistance available at:

Answer a few questions using the Covered CA Shop & Compare Tool to find out what you qualify for and whether you are eligible for tax credits to reduce the monthly premium. 

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS FOR IMMIGRANTS? Answer a few questions using the Covered CA Shop & Compare Tool to find out what you qualify for and whether you are eligible for tax credits to reduce the monthly premium. 

All lawfully-present California residents are eligible for the state-sponsored Medi-Cal and Covered California private insurance plans. Lawful residents have permission to live and work in the U.S.; including individuals with green cards, naturalization papers, refugees, asylees and others with protected status.

Effective in 2016: All children, regardless of immigration status (undocumented) are eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal! For more information click here

Individuals who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal.

Individuals who are not eligible for full Medi-Cal or Covered CA, including those without immigration documents, may still qualify for limited Medi-Cal for emergencies and pregnancy as well as other free or discount programs. Individuals are encouraged to meet with a San Ysidro Health Certified Eligibility Specialist to learn about their options. San Ysidro Health does not turn anyone away!


If you apply on your own or you get assistance from us, you will need the following information. It is recommended that you gather all documents PRIOR to completing the application.

  1. Number of family members living in the household (head of household, spouse, children and/or dependent(s))
  2. Identification for every family member applying for health insurance (i.e. Driver’s License or identification card, birth certificate, school identification, immigration documents (such as green card or naturalization papers, etc.)
  3. Information about current or previous health insurance for any family member; such as Medi-Cal, Medicare or private insurance.
  4. Social Security numbers for family members applying for health insurance

IMPORTANT: A Social Security number is NOT required when applying for health insurance on behalf of family member

  1. Most recent federal tax returns AND last two pay stubs or other income information for each family member applying for health insurance.

You can print out this check-list to help you collect the required information.


Health insurance can be complicated. We have created several documents that can give you more information on the basics of health insurance, new options, how to apply, and what to expect once you have enrolled:

A portion of these services is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.


San Diego Health Centers Get Federal Grants To Enroll People In New Plans

Heather Rousseau Families soon will be able to sign up for new health insurance options through the Affordable Care Act. In Washington, D.C., Dr. Cheryl Focht of Mary's Center performs a checkup of Jayson Gonzalez, 16, while his mother, Elizabeth Lopez, looks on.

Photo by Heather Rousseau
Families soon will be able to sign up for new health insurance options through the Affordable Care Act. In Washington, D.C., Dr. Cheryl Focht of Mary’s Center performs a checkup of Jayson Gonzalez, 16, while his mother, Elizabeth Lopez, looks on.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
By Kenny Goldberg

SAN DIEGO — Seven health centers in San Diego County have received federal grants to help enroll people in new insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. The centers will receive a total of more than $2 million to fund the effort.

Family Health Centers of San Diego won the largest local award, which totals more than $861,000.

The nonprofit will use the money to hire outreach workers, application assistants and a social media coordinator.

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Mobile Health at the Market

February 20, 2013
By Marty Graham
California Health Report

When it comes to getting her kids the healthcare she needs, Monica Villalobos faces many challenges. A single mom with three kids under five, she doesn’t have a car, works long hours and shares parenting with her mom, who speaks very little English.

But it was easy for her to find her way to the Healthy Steps Medical Mobile Unit from the San Ysidro Health Center – they set up a mobile services truck in the parking lot of her grocery store on Thursdays. The grocery store parking lot is across from the mobile home park where her family lives.

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A last chance for San Diego kids

May 30, 2013
By Marty Graham
California Health Report

A unique San Diego diversion program may be the last chance for many troubled local kids to stay out of the criminal justice system.

Jay Moser, a San Diego police sergeant who runs the program, employs a combination of “Scared Straight” tactics for the kids and a parenting class for their families that steeps them in ideas about who their kids are, how to better connect with them and how to manage their own frustration and anger.

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TVs donated to San Ysidro dental group

By Tawny Maya McCray
FEB. 15, 2012
U-T San Diego

A dental group in Chula Vista has donated six flat-screen televisions to the dental facility at San Ysidro Health Center.

Members of The Super Dentists, a group specializing in orthodontic and pediatric care for children, teens and adults, said the gift helped support San Ysidro Health Center’s mission to provide low cost, high quality, comprehensive primary care services to low income families. And it will help make going to the dentist a more enjoyable experience for kids, they say.

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San Ysidro Health Center and Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children to Hold Joint Press Briefing on Improving Children’s Access to Oral Healthcare

Leading Oral Health Care Foundation Recognizes San Ysidro Health Center as One of 10 National Organizations Providing Dental Care Access to Children in Need

San Ysidro, CA
May 9, 2012

Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children (HSHC): The Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), and San Ysidro Health Center (SYHC) will hold a joint press briefing on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. to address the state of pediatric dentistry in San Diego and the nation. The press briefing will take place at San Diego Children’s Dental Clinic: 8110 Birmingham Way, Building 28, on the Rady Children’s Hospital campus.

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