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Event benefits health services in rural East County and honors longtime volunteer and advocate

Source:  San Ysidro Health

May 15, 2023 (San Diego) - On April 18, 2023, 300 community leaders came together to join San Ysidro Health for its 2nd annual Rural Health Celebration Luncheon & Benefit to support the expansion of vital medical, dental and behavioral health services for all in rural East County. San Ysidro Health celebrated and recognized its last living Founding Mother, Mrs. Carmen Martinez, who will be turning 100 years old later this year. San Ysidro Health also recognized Arvilla Johnson, the unofficial Mayor of Campo, the 2023 Volunteer of the Year award for her lifelong commitment to supporting the rural community. Healthcare providers, Dr. Wylie and Nurse Practitioner, Carol Lieber, who provide care at various San Ysidro Health clinics in East County shared their experiences of providing care and challenges faced when working with their patients who live throughout rural East County. The event also honored the passing of well-known community champion and member of the San Ysidro Health External Affairs team, R. Daniel Hernandez.

Thanks to the generosity of sponsors and individual donors, the event raised nearly $310,000 to fund vital health and social services for seniors throughout San Ysidro Health’s network of clinics and programs located in Campo, Jacumba, Alpine, Santee, Julian, and Escondido. The funds will also provide essential medical, dental, behavioral health, and specialty care services to isolated families throughout rural East County.

“San Ysidro Health believes everyone deserves access to high quality medical, dental and behavioral health services and this event gave us an opportunity to raise awareness to the many challenges faced by our rural East County community in accessing health care services,’ said Kevin Mattson, President, and CEO. “We are grateful for the generosity of our donors and sponsors, but the work doesn’t stop now.”

Rural communities face unique obstacles to accessing healthcare services, such as geographical isolation, limited access to clinics, transportation, essential services, medications, and healthy food options. This is why San Ysidro Health is committed to providing essential care and support to all families throughout San Diego County, including those living in rural East County.

San Ysidro Health is still accepting donations to fund its services and continue increasing access to care throughout rural East County. If the community would like to make a donation, they can text HEALTH23 to 41444.

For more information regarding San Ysidro Health services available, please visit

About San Ysidro Health

San Ysidro Health is a non-profit organization committed to providing high quality, compassionate, accessible and affordable health care services for the entire family. The organization was founded by seven mothers in search of medical services for their children in 1969. Over fifty years later, San Ysidro Health now provides innovative care to more than 145,000 lives in our care through a vast and integrated network of 50 program sites across San Diego County including: medical clinics, dental clinics, behavioral health centers, HIV centers, WIC nutrition centers, mobile medical units, school-based health centers, chiropractic services, pediatric developmental clinic, teen clinic, senior health center and Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). San Ysidro Health and its program sites are designed under the concept of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of care, where the patient, not the support staff or provider, is the focus of all care and services. For additional information please visit San Ysidro Health at

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