Until 1994, Baja California was the only Mexican State bordering the U.S. without a medical specialty care center for children. A group of concerned pediatric professionals along with civic, business and academic leaders from Mexico, Canada and the United States, formed a tri-national effort and formed three non-profit organizations to create a viable solution to address the need.
A TEMPORARY SOLUTION
The solution came in the form of a pediatric specialty clinic as the first stage of a planned project, “Hospital Infantil de las Californias.” In 1994, a small pediatric specialty clinic opened in Mesa de Otay, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.
Hospital Infantil de las Californias provides medical care, nutrition and education services to children and their families. The project has since gained national and international community support and now offers medical, education and research programs. These programs include the international exchange of medical technology, in addition to professional growth opportunities for professionals, students, families and the community in general.
THE NEED FOR EXPANSION
In 2000, construction began on the current facility, thanks to support from the San Diego Padres, the Mexican government, and various institutions and companies of the region.
The building opened on April 28, 2001, and includes elements of environmental design made possible through a NAFTA grant from Canada. These environmental components serve as a model for border projects in North America.
MEETING THE NEED TODAY
In 2012, Hospital Infantil opened the Harland Sanders Ambulatory Surgery Center. The 26,000 square foot center houses 3 surgical suites, recovery rooms and support offices. Currently, the hospital offers over 3,000 pediatric consultations per month from 30 specialties and services. 60% of the medical staff donate health care services and more than 40 volunteers provide administration assistance. Patients pay a fee for services on a sliding scale with indigent care subsidized through the generous support of sponsors and philanthropists.
CONTINUING TO MEET THE EVER-INCREASING NEED
A fundraising campaign currently exists to equip the last of three surgery rooms in Harland Sanders Ambulatory Surgery Center.