Mountain Health originated in rural East County San Diego’s Mountain
Empire region, driven by residents’ desire to realize some health
care capacity in this region that had almost no health care resources
at the time. Mountain Health opened its first clinic in Campo (91906)
in 1974, followed by a clinic in Jacumba (91934). In 2005 Mountain Health
opened its Alpine Family Medicine location. Mountain Health has become
the primary general-service health care provider in the Mountain Empire
region, and thousands of rural residents look to Mountain Health to meet
their health care needs.
Mountain Health also agreed to assume the operation of the Mountain Health
Community Center in Campo, which has allowed the Center to maintain uninterrupted
operations since 1997. The Center provides a variety of services including
a senior nutrition program, a variety of classes, a food pantry, a volunteer
driving program to aid rural seniors’ mobility, and programming
for children and youth. The Center has served a critical role in the region
during the major fire emergencies in the last decade, and Mountain Health
stands ready to stand with first responders and emergency response agencies
as needed in future crises.
The manner in which health care services are provided has changed tremendously
since Mountain Health opened its doors, and Mountain Health has evolved
to meet new challenges and build on opportunities for improving the provision of care.
- Mountain Health has used telehealth technology to provide behavioral health
services to rural residents who cannot come to a clinic site.
- In 2013 Mountain Health completed the installation of an Electronic Health
Records system, which means that patients’ information is now computerized,
completely comprehensive, highly organized, and available at every Mountain
Health clinic site.
- Mountain Health is adopting new models of care, including the Patient Centered
Medical Home (PCMH) model. The PCMH model provides for a team-based care
approach in which the clinical team members partner with the patient to
promote healthy lifestyle choices, prevent disease, and manage chronic
- In 2014, Mountain Health has broken ground for the new Mountain Empire
Family Medicine center, a 24,000 square-foot facility that will include
dental, optometry, and pharmacy services.
Mountain Health has come a long way from its origins as a part-time, all-volunteer
clinic serving a couple hundred Mountain Empire residents annually. Today
Mountain Health expects to serve over 8,000 unduplicated patients in 2016,
most of whom will be living at or below the federal poverty level. Mountain
Health works with dozens of public and private organizations around the
county to meet the needs of high-need residents, and recognizes the importance
of collaboration in creating high-quality service networks. Mountain Health’s
role as a founding (and current) member of the Mountain Empire Collaborative
speaks to the importance that Mountain Health attaches to collaborative
effort, and particularly so in a rural context.