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Why Medical Coverage is Meaningless at the only Pediatric Hospital in Tijuana

Nonprofit Organization:
Foundation for the Children of the CaliforniasBuilding Tenant Since:
2017

Located at the Center for Civic Engagement because:
“We love the collaborative atmosphere and community-type workplace.”
Dionicia Lozoya, MBA, Executive Director, Foundation for the Children of the Californias

The lone pediatric hospital in Baja California has never turned a child away for its family’s inability to afford care.

In fact, a consultation at Hospital Infantil de las Californias costs just $15.

Located in Tijuana one-half mile past the Otay Mesa border crossing, Hospital Infantil fills an urgent need in Northwestern Mexico by treating more than 3,500 children every month from both sides of the border regardless of medical coverage.

“Our only requirement is that patients are 17 years old or younger,” said Dionicia Lozoya, MBA, executive director of the Foundation for the Children of the Californias (FCC).

Founded in 1994, FCC is a tri-national collaboration between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico working to improve the health and nutrition for children in the mega-region of San Diego and Baja California through the operation of Hospital Infantil.

The medical center is designed specifically for pediatric care and offers outpatient services for day surgeries, dental ophthalmology, orthopedics, physical therapy and more.

In July 2017, the hospital hit a major milestone: 500,000 children served.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJqkNT0K8No[/embedyt]

No Child Turned Away Due to Inability to Pay

While doing volunteer work in Tijuana in the early 1990s, Dr. Betty Jones saw an urgent need for pediatric and nutrition care in the region due to a lack of funding from the Mexican government. With a background in nutrition, Jones initiated discussions with medical partners in Mexico, the U.S. and her homeland of Canada to fill the void.

‘Doctora Betty’ and co-founder Dr. Gabriel Chong-King opened Hospital Infantil with one simple philosophy: No child would be turned away due to inability to pay.

Over the course of 20-plus years, the hospital has grown from a 2,000 square-foot clinic to a 56,000 square-foot facility that conducts more than 100 surgeries per month. The five most common surgeries at Hospital Infantil include: Strabismus (cross-eye correction) surgery, Ear Tube insertion surgery, Hernioplasty, Hip surgery and Frenectomy (orthodontic procedure).

Orthodontic Procedure

The five most common surgeries at Hospital Infantil include: Strabismus (cross-eye correction) surgery, Ear Tube insertion surgery, Hernioplasty, Hip surgery and Frenectomy (orthodontic procedure).

Approximately 80 percent of the children who visit Hospital Infantil cannot afford to pay for their medical expenses. That’s why the hospital established the P.A.P.I. Program (Programa de Apoyo a Pacientes Indigentes) to assist with medical expenses and ensure that every child will receive the surgeries and care they need.

The hospital can offset costs thanks to its generous donors, hard-working volunteers, dedicated doctors and low rent. In 2016, FCC helped Hospital Infantil distribute over $540,000 to aid families’ medical expenses.

“It’s really eye-opening,” Lozoya shared. “It’s our opportunity to make a difference for the children and their families.”

Concert for the Kids

FCC’s annual Concert for the Kids fundraiser is September 30 at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe.

The show will feature The Fab Four, an internationally acclaimed Beatles tribute band. This year, funds raised will develop and support the Dental “Programa de Apoyo a Pacientes Indigentes” (program for low-income families) and Foundation operations.

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