A new 8,500 square-foot Community Healthcare center is opening its doors in Poway to serve low-income families in the area.
The long-awaited Gold Family Health Center, 13010 Poway Road, opens on Monday and will serve around 7,500 people in need, said Dr. Rakesh Patel, the CEO of Neighborhood Healthcare.
There is an increasing number of uninsured and underinsured people in the Poway area and they had to travel outside of the area for medical service, he said.
Last year, 1,200 people from the Poway area visited the Community Healthcare centers in Escondido, Patel said.
"Since many of our patients rely on public transportation, this can translate to as many as three bus transfers and up to two hours of travel time,” he said. “As a result, many people delay routine healthcare, which can lead to more serious health problems.”
That’s part of the reason the private, nonprofit healthcare organization is opening its 13th medical clinic in Poway. The other reason? More than 12,000 residents between the age of 19 and 64 are uninsured, around 5,300 people live twice below the federal poverty level and close to 5,000 children qualify for free or reduced lunch.
“Poway has been probably thought of as an affluent area in San Diego; however, since the economic crisis in 2008, as the whole nation has suffered, Poway has suffered,” Dr. Alejandra Postlethwaite, a board-certified child psychologist, said. “With this in mind, we are going to offer the first community clinic in Poway to target the population that is currently in need of health care services and is either uninsured or qualify for Medi-Cal.”
Neighborhood Healthcare has clinics in two counties and provides services in family medicine, prenatal, dental, podiatry and behavioral health. Poway will provide services in family medicine and behavioral health.