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BVEF Back to Mission, Roots


Last updated 6/18/2021 at 3:25pm

The Borrego Valley Stewardship Council hosted a session on June 2, about medical services and related activities in Borrego Springs.

Dr. Edgar Bulloch, Interim CEO of Borrego Health, updated the group about healthcare at the Clinic; Dr. David Garmon spoke on behalf of the Borrego Valley Endowment Fund about changes in BVEF’s focus; and Daniel Wright spoke about the community-wide effort to save the Children’s Center and the Frugal Coyote. All three reports rang with a positive tone of hope for the future and some much-needed good news.

Dr. Bulloch acknowledged the ongoing investigation into Borrego Health, but stated that his goal was to focus on quality measures for healthcare in all of the communities served by Borrego Health, including Borrego Springs. Dr. Bulloch pledges that the focus will be on quality of care, not numbers served. When asked how quality of care is measured, Dr. Bulloch explained that there are a number of preventative health measures that are already tracked like well child exams, tracking colon cancer screenings, vaccinations, and these can be given a measurement of quality. In response to questions, he stated that although Borrego Health is a large organization that must have standards organization-wide, the Borrego Springs community will have a voice in health care at the Clinic. He is hoping to organize community advisory panels in order to hear folks’ concerns and suggestions.

Dr. Bulloch updated the group about services at the Borrego Medical Clinic, which is staffed by two physicians.

Unfortunately, one physician, Dr. Flick, will be leaving to move back to Colorado, but Dr. Laura Goetz has already started at the Clinic. In addition to the two staff physicians, Dr. Bulloch stated that specialists routinely visit the Clinic and more can be added depending on need. The usual rotations include a pediatrician and women’s health specialist. A mobile mammography unit also routinely visits Borrego Springs.

Dr. Bulloch reported on the fact that Borrego Health had vaccinated 1,002 patients and that 586 of those were fully vaccinated at this time. In order not to waste vaccine, the Clinic will continue to open new vials of vaccine when they have the needed number of people seeking the coronavirus vaccine.

Dr. David Garmon of the Borrego Valley Endowment Fund gave a brief history of the origins of the BVEF. He noted that in the mid-1980s the Endowment was the fundraising arm of the Borrego Springs Medical Clinic, and together, were one non-profit. The community was successful at fundraising and raised millions in support of the medical clinic.

In the mid-1990s, however, the tax code changed and required that the fundraising arm needed to be a separate non-profit and the non-profit now called the Borrego Valley Endowment Fund was created. Dr. Garmon stated that the historical mission of the BVEF is to support health care in Borrego Springs and that this continues to be a major focus on the BVEF.

He went on to state that beginning in around 2015, BVEF became increasingly concerned by the lack of transparency and questionable business practices at Borrego Health. At that point, the BVEF began funding other health care related projects in the Valley.

He ended on a positive note stating, “Now that Borrego Health is putting their house in order, we’re looking forward to partnering with Borrego Health so we can get back to our original mission and roots.”

Daniel Wright, president of the Borrego Youth and Senior Center, shared how the Children’s Center and the Frugal Coyote have been part of Borrego Health and our community for many years and now will be terminated due to the restructuring occurring in Borrego Health. As the only licensed childcare facility in Borrego Springs, the importance of this institution cannot be overstated, Dan explained.

Although the Frugal Coyote supports the Children’s Center financially, much more financial support is required to keep it open while providing the time required for its operations to become sustainable. In true Borrego fashion, resorts, farms, businesses and individuals are stepping up to the plate and offering financial assistance.

A lot of important and exciting information was covered in this quick hour-long meeting attended by about 40 people.

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