Groundbreaking Milestone for the Health of Campo
By Byron Croft
For The Alpine Sun
July 26 marked a milestone event for the citizens of Campo, California with the ground breaking ceremony of the new Mountain Health and Community Services, Inc. Family Medicine Center located at 1033 Buckman Springs Road.
The new Campo Health Center, designed by Mascari Warner Architects, comprises a 23,500 square foot facility billed as “state-of-the -art”. According to Mountain Health CEO, Judy Shaplin, the new center “will offer an array of medical services, including primary care, radiology, dentistry, optometry, behavioral health, and pharmacy.
“The Campo Health Center will continue Mountain Health’s mission to meet the comprehensive health needs of men, women, children, adolescents, teens, senior citizens, and those at risk of developing serious diseases such as diabetes.”
The new center will also encompass 14 treatment rooms, including two procedure rooms; five dental exam rooms; three behavioral consult rooms; a group therapy room; vision testing facilities; a Multi-purpose Education and Training Center; and two conference rooms.
When asked what her thoughts were about the future medical center, Hannah Elmasian, Dental Care Coordinator for Mountain Health, pointed out “The new center will change a lot of lives for the better. There are a number of people out here [in Campo and the Mountain Empire] that don’t have access to transportation [to San Diego], so now it’ll be easier for them to get health care. Many of the residents out here are elderly, or are disabled and have health issues that make travel difficult. Some simply can’t afford to make long, frequent trips down the mountain.”
The Campo weather was forgiving for the ceremony, which commenced with the Presentation of the Colors and Pledge of Allegiance lead by agents of the US Border Patrol, and followed by a passionate rendition of our National Anthem by Charity Haselton. It was apparent from the number of speakers and the amount of contributors in attendance that this event is the fruition of a multitude of team efforts.
Several awards and certificates were presented to the Mountain Health team, for their efforts and accomplishments by representatives from the offices of Congressman Duncan Hunter, Senator Joel Anderson, Assemblyman Brian Jones, and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman Juan Vargas.
When asked about her thoughts on the ground-breaking, Mountain Health Project Manager Dao Doan said, “It’s really exciting. My job isn’t really over. Now that we have the go-ahead, we’ll be working with Reno Contracting for the building phase of the project.” Greg Ryan, President of the Mountain Health Board of Directors, emphasized “Continuing our commitment to our mission to improve the health and well-being of the whole person takes more than bricks and mortar, it takes the support of our communities, individuals, and organizations to contribute to the future of Mountain Health.”
“Mountain Health & Community Services, Inc.(MHCS)is a not for profit, 501(c.)(3) corporation, which for over 31 years has served the rural, border area of southeastern San Diego County. The mission of Mountain Health & Community Services, Inc. is to improve the health and well being of the whole person. We envision a time when all residents of our most underserved communities have local access to the health and social services that they need. MHCS has a community-based Board of Directors with members who are representative of the communities served, who live and/or work in the service area, and who greatly assist leadership and staff in developing the trust of this rural, isolated population.”
Walter J. Fegley, President and COO of Reno Contracting, the builder of the new medical center, adds, “We’re really excited and privileged to work on this project. It’s a great cause and will help a lot of people. A lot of effort has gone into moving things this far, and we’re looking forward to beginning the building phase”.
Director of Fund Development for MHCS, Mary T. Parra quoting CEO Shaplin, said, “Mountain Health is extremely pleased that our dream for a comprehensive health center is finally beginning to become a reality. This new facility will bring local access to all Mountain Empire residents. “