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 began 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 was opened in Mesa de Otay, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico.
This non-profit center has provided medical care, nutrition and education services to children and their families, with the mission “To Improve the Health and Nutrition for the Children of the Region.” “The Hospital Infantil de las Californias” project has since gained national and international community support. The project also provides medical, education and research programs that include the international exchange of medical technology, plus professional growth opportunities for professionals, students, families and the community in general.
THE NEED FOR EXPANSION
A need for expansion of the clinic quickly arose. During the year 2000, and thanks to the San Diego Padres, government support, various institutions, companies of the region and the community, the construction of the current facility was begun. This
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 on the North American Continent.
MEETING THE NEED TODAY
Currently, this facility, together with the original clinic, offers more than
3,000 pediatric consultations per month from 30 specialties and services. The initial clinic building and the expansion of the “Hospital Infantil de las Californias” are an exemplary working model with 60% of the medical staff donating health care services and an additional more than 40 volunteers providing 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
The current facility is not equipped to provide hospitalization or emergency care. The Harland Sanders Surgery Center is currently beeing equipped. The new facility will house expanded surgery and ancillary services.
SPECIAL RECOGNITIONS INCLUDE
National recognition for having the largest ongoing volunteer assisted hospital team in Mexico.
International Educational Opportunities for medical rotations, internships and residencies in over 30 related medical fields.
Collaboration agreements with several institutions including: Rady Children’s Hospital; UCSD; SDSU; USD; UCI; UCSF; UCLA; UC Davis; Purdue University; LLU; University of Calgary and Mount Royal College, Canada; Shriner’s Hospitals and the UABC and CETYS from Tijuana, Mexico; etc.
An ecologically designed building demonstrating a model for the entire border region.