Message From Kwan Lee, President, VCC Board of Directors
Greetings, Our first newsletter of 2021 comes to you with great excitement and optimism about what the future of health looks like. Having spent nearly a year dealing with the hardships that COVID-19 has brought our communities, families, and friends, we are looking forward to better days ahead thanks to the progress that science and healthcare are making.
The pandemic has shown us just how connected we all are, and just how important our individual actions can be. VCC has continued to focus on teamwork and unity at each clinic, and I am happy to say that the organization is coming out of this stronger than ever. Patient visits are steadily rising, vaccines are being rolled out, cases are declining, and county quarantine orders are slowly being lifted. The sun is beginning to shine on what has been very dark times.
As wounds heal and communities rebuild health and wellness, these times will be very important in terms of support. As we get through this and to the other side, the clinic is bracing for an onslaught of patient needs, and this is where you can make a difference. Your donation(s) will go toward ensuring that patients without financial means will still have access to essential, and potentially life-saving, care.
You can make an impactful contribution today by clicking on the blue Donate Now button below, or by contacting Betsy Heightman by phone at 760-631-5000 ext. 1139 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your time and consideration today. I look forward to the months ahead as we work together to strengthen our community’s care.
Your gift makes a tremendous impact on the health of our community.
VCC began administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, on a voluntary basis, to its employed essential healthcare workers on December 29th. With over 700 employees, the clinic provides care to over 70,000 patients on an annual basis across three Southern California counties – San Diego North County, Orange, and Riverside, many of whom are disproportionally affected by the virus.
The staff was eager to be vaccinated after seeing the hardships of the virus firsthand, and many were quick to sign up first. KPBS followed the development in late January as San Deigo entered full phase 1A. Staff snapped selfies and could be seen smiling during the vaccination process. The energy has been palpable.
VCC has had safeguards in place for months now to ensure patients and staff are kept safe and healthy while in the clinic, but the vaccine will take these precautions to the next level. Vaccinating clinicians and other staff at the healthcare center means being able to continue providing the safest care possible for the clinic’s patients and community members. With infections on the rise, it is imperative that doctors, nurses, and other clinic staff stay healthy and ready to provide care.
Children’s Dental Care
February is Children’s Dental Health Month, and VCC is taking the time to acknowledge this national healthcare focus with special attention to children’s dental facts throughout the month.
Did you know that even babies can get cavities? Cavities at such a young age are known as Early Childhood Caries, or ECC for short, and they should be met with proper medical intervention as early as possible.
While baby teeth will eventually be replaced by permanent adult teeth, they are crucial to a child’s development and therefore need early care. When children’s teeth aren’t properly taken care of, they are at risk for speech development issues, spacing problems for permanent teeth, and oral disease that has been linked to depression, pain, poor school performance, and serious bacterial infection. To avoid short and long-term health complications, dental care should start when a baby’s firth tooth erupts, or by year one; whichever comes first.
Dentists at VCC understand how uncomfortable little ones can be in their chair, and make it a point to give gentle care and patient guidance. When Linda brought in her two foster children, now 3 and 5 years old, for their first visits to the dentist, they were apprehensive. Noraya, who was 2 at the time, didn’t want to open her mouth or sit still for the dental team. The visits were a struggle, but Dr. Huyhn was determined to make Noraya’s earliest memories with her dentist positive ones. Clinic staff worked together to make sure each time Noraya came, she was greeted with a familiar face that knew her and made her feel comfortable. She was allowed to choose her own special toothbrush to take home, what to watch on the screen above her chair, and spoken to about what was going to happen. Staff understood that Noraya’s beginnings weren’t easy and made sure she felt like she was always a part of the process, making her feel like a “big girl” as mom put it. And Linda appreciates the help too; “everyone is super personable, and the kids really liked feeling involved. We met one of the staff members that grew up as a foster child and she knew exactly how we were feeling. We feel really comfortable here.”
Noraya may not be a patient with VCC her entire life, but what she will always have are the healthy habits, confident smile, and comfortable feelings that started with VCC.
VCC is proud to announce that it has also begun administering the COVID vaccine to its patients at highest risk, and over the age of 65, in Lake Elsinore and VCC: Vale Terrace. Because the clinic’s supply of vaccine is currently limited, eligible patients are being personally reaching out to via phone and text message for appointment set up.
For those not yet at the front of the line in eligibility requirements, the clinic is encouraging them to take advantage of the public vaccination sites, if they are able to. Call Center staff have been given county specific vaccination site information to share with callers to help with the process.
As vaccinations are administered, the process will go from the top down, starting with those who are 65+ with 5 or more health-related conditions, and then 65+ with 4 or more health-related conditions, and so on. This approach will serve the “greatest good” with the inventory we have on hand. The clinic is excited to make this positive and much-needed impact on as many individuals and families as possible. Vaccinations will be taking place in a designated tent area outside of the clinic doors to maintain social distancing and keep exposure to others as limited as possible.
Working with UC Davis for Farmworker Education
VCC’s outreach team has partnered with a branch of the University of California, Davis to help disseminate information on COVID-19 to agricultural workers.
Farmworkers have labored throughout the pandemic, helping to keep food on our tables while risking their own health to do so. To help improve personal understanding of the virus, healthy habits, and workplace safety, the proposed outreach project, known as COVID-19 Statewide Agriculture and Farmworker Education Program (COVID-19 SAFE Program), will be led by the University’s Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety in collaboration with the California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS) and farmworker-serving community-based organizations like VCC.
VCC became a part of these efforts in December of 2020 and currently has five staff members training and working to provide education on the ground. As this project gets itself going, Herminia Ledesma, VCC Program Manager, is hopeful about the impact it will have in both the long and short term: “I would love to see our farmworker COVID education efforts support the community in the current and future phases of the pandemic. This work so far has been a testament to VCC’s commitment to supporting the farmworker community in North San Diego County, and I hope this effort continues to grow our trust in the community. Additionally, I would love to see this evolve into sustainable policy changes that will keep needed resources in the community.”
As California begins to open back up and COVID vaccines become more available, educational efforts will be an important piece of getting back to community health. If you are interested in supporting VCC’s work with local farmworker populations, you can donate to the organization at any time by clicking here. You can also follow more of the journey on VCC’s social media pages @VistaCommunityClinic.
Solar is up and Running at VCC: Vale Terrace!
The massive 412-kW solar carport installation, seen in the photo above at VCC: Vale Terrace, will provide long term renewable energy for our sustainability-driven healthcare facility. To complete this project, the clinic had the unique opportunity to partner with the SunForAll program in funding its nonprofit solar system. Through this partnership, VCC received a generous donation from the BQuest Foundation, allowing the organization to proceed with its solar energy goals. From start to finish, M Bar C Construction provided design, installation, and project management support for the project. The VCC solar solution consists of 5 solar carports installed throughout ground-level parking, as well as a full-cantilevered solar carport installed atop an existing parking garage. You can read more about the project here.
Thanks to great help from our Outreach Consultant in La Habra, Scott Miller, patients of VCC: The Gary Center have been able to access free food, baby and adult diapers, hygiene products, pet food, and more on a regular basis.
Through strengthened community collaboration, we have been able to create a system of supportive resources that can help from multiple angles. As La Habra businesses and organizations rally around their community, individuals and families aren’t being left behind in the dust of the pandemic. Instead, weekly events are hosted drive-thru style to ensure the community can remain well and feel supported.
VCC: The Gary Center is proud to be a part of these events, where we can promote healthcare for all ages. We are looking forward to what the future of community collaboration looks like as we continue to find news ways to get patients and community members in touch with the resources they need.
Donations and outside funders are the heartbeat of the clinic. Without this financial support, VCC would not be the life-saving healthcare center it is today.
At VCC, we’ve got your whole family covered, and we can help patients qualify for medical and dental coverage:
- Adult Medicine
- Family Planning
- Behavioral Health
- Women’s Health
- Prenatal Care
- Insurance Enrollment
- Food Distribution
- Diaper Distribution
- Same-Day Appointment Availability
- Referral to Immigration Services
- *NOW OFFERING* Cardiology at VCC: Vale Terrace
If you would like to make an appointment for care or consultation at any of our nine locations, please call or text us at 844.308.5003. We are continuing to offer Telehealth services whenever applicable.
Hula for Health
In 2020, the clinic had to find new ways to continue its fundraising events, normally reserved for in-person meetings. Though the shift was unexpected for all of us, VCC’s supporters never wavered. Through virtual efforts, the clinic was able to end the year on a high note with generous donations from both new and existing donors.
In light of the continued pandemic, the clinic has decided that it is best to continue these virtual activities until further notice. That said, we are excited to give an early announcement on this year’s Gala event! So mark those calendars for 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 14th, where you’ll be invited to a very special Hula with VCC!
Until then, we’ll be working hard behind the scenes to prepare an unforgettable night-in, where we can all share in the aloha spirit together and help raise money to support the health and wellness of our fellow community members, young and old. For more information on the event or how to become a sponsor, please call Betsy Heightman, VCC Chief Development Officer, at 760-631-5000 ext 1139.
1000 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista, CA 92084