Vista Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee Hears Vista Community Clinic Update
TR Robertson =Terry Woods, Chairman of the Vista Chamber Government Affairs Committee, began the November meeting with a reminder to those in attendance that the Chamber is looking for nominations for Heroes of Vista for small and large businesses, veterans and other categories that can be found on the Vista Chamber web site.
This month’s featured speaker at the Government Affairs Committee meeting was Betsy Heightman, Chief Development Officer for Vista Community Clinic, who gave an update about the clinic and services offered. The clinic is currently celebrating 50 years of service and has come a long way from their humble beginnings in 1972 taking over a dog grooming office to establish a clinic in North County. They now have clinics in North Orange County, Riverside County and North San Diego County. There are four clinics in Vista and four clinics in Oceanside. The locations in Vista are 1000 Vale Terrace, 134 Grapeview Road, 105 Durian Street and 465 La Tortuga Drive. The location at Durian has both a Pediatrics Center and a Senior Adult Care. There are also locations in La Habra and in Lake Elsinore. Vista Community Clinic saw 70,000 patients in 2021, including 4,000 migrants and 5,188 homeless people. More female patients were seen than males in 2021 and Betsy said the Senior population that the clinic sees is also growing. The Clinic works with Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Podiatry, Women’s Health, Family Planning, Behavioral Health, Dental and Optometry. Vista Community Clinic also offers specialized services, such as medication assisted treatment, Chiropractic, Cancer Screening, HIV Care, Gender Affirming Care, Liver Clinic and Acupuncture. They also are involved in the PACE program, Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, and work with Palomar Health for assistance with maternity issues. They have a few Community Outreach programs like Youth Development, Tobacco Control, Parent and Child Health, Migrant Health, and HIV Protection. The Outreach Program also extends to mobile units such as the Medical Unit, Mobile Wellness Unit, Dental Unit and providing COVID and Flu Vaccines. Their Food Distributions assists 600-700 people a month and the Diaper Distribution helps 300 families a month in the Vista, Oceanside, and Fallbrook area. Assisted by grants and fundraising, the clinic continues to grow and provide services. Their annual Holiday Homes Tour continues, this year remaining a virtual tour December 18-23. Giving Tuesday, on November 29th, is also a big fundraiser for the clinic. Betsy said they also have a strong partnership with the Vista Unified School District.
John Conley, Community Development/Engineering, from the City of Vista – The City manager has resigned, and Amanda Lee is the acting City Manager. Recruitment for a replacement is currently underway. The next City Council meeting will be November 15. There is a possibility several new businesses will be coming to Vista. At Home may take over the Burlington location on Sycamore and Black Bear Diner may take over the former Coco’s location.
Adrienne Cisneros-Selekman from Supervisor Jim Desmond’s Office – The Supervisors voted to fund a mandatory education program to teach students about the harmful effects of fentanyl. The Supervisor attended the groundbreaking of the new 16 bed psychiatric health facility at Tri-City Medical Center. It is anticipated it will take 14 months for the facility to be built. The Supervisor also recently provided 500 emergency evacuation kits for people in the district.
Max Werner from State Senator Patricia Bates Office – The Senator is terming out. Selected Legislator of the Year in Orange County. Received awards for her support of businesses in the state. Max pointed out several the Senator’s bills she co-authored that were signed into law, for example one bill dealing with opioid awareness.
Jessica Ramirez from U.S. Congressman Mike Levin’s Office – The Congressman recently completed a meeting and discussion with Pete Buttigieg, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, concerning the coastal bluff erosion issues and its effect on the economy in coastal towns. Retired Major General Peggy C. Combs, Commandant of Army Navy Academy in Carlsbad, was recently honored. Congressman working on Veterans Affairs in lowering taxes on military pensions and obtaining maximum coverage for life insurance.
Aaron Byzak, Chief External Affairs Officer for Tri-City Medical Center – As well as the groundbreaking on the new psychiatric facility, construction will begin in February on remodeling the Emergency Room lobby and facility. On November 12 a fundraiser will be held for Tri-City at Omni Hotel. The new 3TMRI Suite is almost complete.
Bill McLeod, Founder of Got Your Back San Diego – Got Your Back San Diego is a weekend food assistance program for children whose primary source of nutrition Monday through Friday is school cafeteria food. The group’s goal is to provide a consistent source of good, nutritious food for them on Saturday and Sunday. They have been in existence for 13 years, including during the COVID years. They currently provide 6 normal meals on weekends for 250 children from 12 schools in Carlsbad, Oceanside, and Vista. Bill said there are 26,000 children attending San Diego County schools who suffer from food insecurity. The organization is located at 3820 Oceanic Drive, Suite 313 in Oceanside. Contact information is 760-583-9072, www.GotYourBackSanDiego.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rachel Beld, CEO Vista Chamber of Commerce – next Wednesday the Chamber will host a hiring Fair with 28 members interviewing from 4pm-7pm. December 3rd the annual Christmas Parade will be held in downtown Vista. On January 23rd the annual State of the Community will be held.
The Vista Residents in Career Training Workforce Development Study Report was presented. The study covered April 2021 to March 2022. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the variety of workers in this area that were moving from one job to another, who were changing jobs and why and what kind of jobs people were looking for as they moved to other areas of employment. The study looked at the education level of those in transition and the locations of programs providing educational opportunities to assist workers as they sought ways to assist their growth in the job markets. The study found that the areas of construction, professional and scientific jobs, utilities, public administration, and defense, automotive and transportation were the main job levels workers sought to make transition into.
The next Government Affairs meeting will be at The Film Hub on Thursday, December 1st beginning at Noon.