San Ysidro Health Center

SYHC mural

Our History

For 40 years, San Ysidro Health Center has been the leader in the provision of low-cost, high quality, comprehensive primary care services to residents of San Diego County’s South Bay Region. Area residents who recognized the need for quality health services in their community began San Ysidro Health Center (SYHC) as a voluntary program in August 1968 through a collaborative partnership with the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Medical services were initially provided from a small house on the property at 4004 Beyer Boulevard, where the current health center is located. SYHC incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization in 1971 and the original clinic was built the following year. The health center has grown steadily over the years driven by the community’s need for essential health and social services. Today, SYHC maintains a beautiful 50,000 square foot medical center on the original clinic site in San Ysidro and has clinics in Chula Vista and National City that are strategically located to serve the medical needs of the entire South Bay Region.

SYHC has been recognized by Federal, State and Local entities as a leader in the creation and development of many of the more creative and successful forces in Health Care Prevention nationwide. Among these has been the leadership in the development of a locally managed care system, a comprehensive mental health program incorporated into the traditional primary care service matrix, and a series of joint and collaborative health education and promotion programs which have reached across the border into Mexico. These programs were among the first to acknowledge that the border is a porous one, that diseases and disease states do not stop at the check point, and that they must be addressed in a binational, cooperative manner.

Service Area:
Census Tracts 20, 21 and 22 roughly define SYHC’s primary service area in South Suburban San Diego County. This geographic area, commonly referred to as South Bay, encompasses the following cities: San Ysidro, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, Nestor and National City. These communities contain a high proportion of minority residents, with the largest representation being Latino. SYHC’s main clinic site at 4004 Beyer Boulevard in San Ysidro is located in subdivision 100.5 of Census Tract 22, less than one mile from the busiest border crossing in the world.. The total service area population is approximately 316,000 persons (1990 census). Census tract 22 has been designated as both a primary medical care health professional shortage area (HPSA) and a medically underserved area (MUA).

Identification of Target Population:
Based on 1990 statistics, the ethnic mix of SYHC’s service area is 49.1% Caucasian; 42.7% Latino; 4.6% African-American; and 10.1% Asian/Pacific Islander. The median age of residents is 29.6 years. Nearly 13% of all residents live at or below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). In FY98, SYHC’s patient base of 37,686 unduplicated patients generated 93,373 patient visits. Eighty-four percent (84%) of SYHC’s patients were Latino. Caucasians and African-Americans account for seven (7%) and four percent (4%) of the patient base respectively. Asians, Native Americans and Filipinos make up the remaining five percent (5%) of the patient base.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of SYHC patients live at or below one-hundred percent (100%) of the FPL. Sixty-six percent (66%) of patients receive Medi-Cal, Healthy Families or other eligibility benefits for individuals and families with incomes under 200 percent (200%) of the FPL. Eleven percent (11%) of health center patients receive Medicare benefits. Twenty percent (20%) of all patients, or 7,594 patients, are uninsured. Children, ages 5-14, make up the largest percentage of patients by age at twenty-seven pecent (27%). Adults, 25-44, make up the next largest percentage of patients, accounting for twenty-one percent (21%) of the total patient population. While patients 65 and older comprise roughly ten percent (10%) of SYHC’s patient base, they account for nearly one-quarter of the health center’s annual patient encounters.

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