Last updated 3/5/2020 at 10:01am
Over the years, we’ve heard many times from many sources that people with medical issues hesitate to move to Borrego Springs. And too many friends and neighbors have told us that to be safe they must move to a town with more accessible medical services that can monitor & treat their illnesses. It is time to remove such barriers to the enjoyment of this charming, vibrant community.
Borregans are doers. This is a place where vision is met with a “yes we will” attitude, where dedicated volunteers and generous donors turn vision into reality. And so, several years ago, Bill and Jenny Wright launched an effort to pro-mote more convenient and timely health care for Borrego Springs.
The Borrego Valley Endowment Fund (BVEF) took on the challenge and began to study the need and community support for more accessible healthcare. In 2016, with assistance from the Borrego Springs Chamber of Commerce, BVEF conducted a community survey.
Most respondents reported that a top need for Borrego Springs was a walk in/urgent care clinic. More than four-fifths (i.e., 83%) of respondents reported receiving an average of 6 – mostly primary care services – outside Borrego Springs per year. Between 2017 and 2019, BVEF analyzed state demographic and healthcare utilization data, funded a well-designed study of the need for primary and urgent care in our medical service area, and discussed with Borrego Health how an extend-ed hours clinic could supplement the Borrego Medical Clinic and could complement our existing clinic by serving patients with such types of medical coverage as Traditional Medicare, Private Insurance, Travel Insurance, Self Pay, etc.
In 2019, San Diego County District 5 Supervisor Jim Desmond created a Revitalization Initiative that prompted Borrego Springs to identify and address its top needs, and offered County assistance to do so. During the initial organizing meeting, residents identified and ranked, second only to water issues, an extended hours primary care clinic as a top need of Borrego Springs. A Public Health Subcommittee was formed and volunteers now staff a Clinic Committee to address that need.
Before BVEF and the Clinic Committee proceed further, it will be important to know whether residents still believe that an accessible, extended hours clinic is needed. It will be even more important to know whether residents would use such a clinic rather than continuing to receive most of their primary care outside Borrego Springs.
With the assistance of the Chamber of Commerce, we will conduct an updated community survey during late February and early March.
The survey will ask residents whether and what types of primary and urgent care services they think are needed, where they receive such services today, and whether they would use such services if provided locally. It also asks for an estimate of how frequently they might use those services. Last, a few questions will be asked about insurance coverage and demographics to under-stand who would use the clinic. Respondents’ confidentiality will be protected.
So if you receive a survey via email, please complete it. It should take less than 20 minutes and you will be helping our community decide whether to make a significant investment in improving access to local care.