American Indian Health Center serves as safety net for the uninsured and the underinsured in San Diego

BANKERS HILL (KUSI) – The San Diego American Indian Health Center has a tent set up in its parking lot, it’s where patients come first. They’re first screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

This community clinic on First Ave in Banker’s Hill serves people who are uninsured or under-insured like James Sam. He says he comes to the clinic almost daily.

“I’m concerned about the virus . I just became a senior citizen and I’m concerned about my health,” said Sam.

Dr. Young Suh waits under the tent as people come in.

“Anybody who comes to our clinic whether they are patients, staff or workers they will all be screened. People with symptoms will call ahead ,the can drive up and we will take their temperature,” said Suh.

If patients have COVID-19 symptoms, they are tested for the virus.

If the results are negative, a patient continues on with getting his or her appointment whether it’s a medical, behavioral or wellness check. The health center is fully operational.

“We have a public nurse who can do home visits. We have Wellness Telehealth for behavioral and medical . We are also doing dental appointments twice a week.  Dr. Suh  has been able to really engage patient in a unique way helping them be resilient reach our at risk population who we’ve reached out to and been proactive,” said Kevin LaChappelle, Interim CEO.

As for James Sam, he’s happy to tell us he has no  COVID-19 symptoms.   But he’ll be back for a different type of medical appointment in the future.

The American Indian Health Center is open  Monday through Friday.

Categories: Coronavirus, Health, Local San Diego News