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Neighborhood Healthcare to host Women’s Wellness event Thursday

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (November 15, 2022) – Neighborhood Healthcare, a regional Federally Qualified Health Center providing a wide range of medical, dental, and behavioral health services, will hold a Women’s Wellness event in El Cajon Thursday.

The public event open to all women will occur from 8:30 a.m. to Noon at the non-profit’s 855 E Madison Ave. location and will draw a projected 200 individuals.

Neighborhood Healthcare - El Cajon

Neighborhood Healthcare – El Cajon

Neighborhood will offer participants at no charge:

  • Mammograms – Valley Radiology
  • Scheduling Women Wellness Exams
  • Health Information
  • Enrollment Services
  • Free COVID at-home tests
  • Giveaways

Media are invited to attend.

About Neighborhood Healthcare 

Neighborhood Healthcare provides quality, compassionate, whole-person care to everyone, regardless of their circumstance, throughout San Diego and Riverside Counties. We go above and beyond in serving those in need with high integrity, professionalism, and in the spirit of collaboration, just as we did when founded more than 50 years ago. In doing so, we dedicate ourselves to improving community health so everyone can live happy and healthy lives.

Neighborhood Healthcare breaks record at recent fundraising gala

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (October 4, 2022) – Neighborhood Healthcare, a regional Federally Qualified Health Center providing a wide range of medical, dental, and behavioral health services, broke all records at its recent fundraising gala by raising over $430,000.

The contributions raised at the September 17 event will expand the organization’s women’s health services, prenatal care, and cancer screenings.

“We’re grateful for the continued support we received from so many organizations and generous individuals,” said Rakesh Patel, MD, CEO of Neighborhood Healthcare. “This event exceeded all expectations and demonstrated how communities could rally around each other in these unprecedented times. Now more than ever, our mission to provide quality, comprehensive, compassionate care to everyone, including women, regardless of circumstances, is greatly needed.”

The “Denim and Diamonds” included music, silent and live auctions, and touching messages from those that Neighborhood Healthcare has helped. The nonprofit also honored one of its long-standing supporters, Judith Descalso, with its annual Servant Leader Award, for her more than three decades of support that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of Neighborhood Healthcare.

“This event went a long way in helping us expand our range of women’s health programs and resources that address many of the barriers our patients face on their road to health and happiness,” said Tina Pope, Director of External Affairs for Neighborhood Healthcare. “The support we received in the activities leading up to and including the gala from so many individuals and organizations will help us continue to bring positive change to our communities; change you can see firsthand in the smiles of the patients we serve.”

About Neighborhood Healthcare 

Neighborhood Healthcare provides quality, compassionate, whole-person care to everyone, regardless of circumstance, throughout San Diego and Riverside Counties. We go above and beyond in serving those in need with high integrity, professionalism, and in the spirit of collaboration, just as we did when founded more than 50 years ago. In doing so, we dedicate ourselves to improving community health so everyone can live happy and healthy lives.

Neighborhood launches mobile health program with Escondido Union High School District

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (September 21, 2022) – Neighborhood Healthcare, a regional Federally Qualified Health Center providing a wide range of health services, announced today the launch of its behavioral health mobile services program with the Escondido Union High School District.

The initiative improves student access to such services through a mobile health center vehicle at Del Lago Academy, San Pasqual High, Escondido High, Valley High and Orange Glen High Schools.

“Bringing this program to the schools eliminates barriers to accessing care, for example transportation, insurance, or time in a busy schedule to attend doctor appointments,” said Gabriel Rodarte, MD, Behavioral Health Medical Director at Neighborhood Healthcare. “We will do so in a safe and supportive environment and are grateful to UnitedHealthcare and other organizations that provided the grants to support these efforts that align with our stated mission to deliver quality, compassionate, whole-person care to everyone regardless of circumstance.”

The mobile health center vehicle will be on the campuses weekly. Both students and parents will have access to educational resources through the school’s website and QR codes. Licensed therapists will provide counseling with the full support of the Behavioral Health Department should any student need enhanced care.

“We recognize the importance of supporting our student’s mental health and were so pleased to open Wellness Center spaces on our three comprehensive high school campuses last year,” said Escondido Union High School District Superintendent Anne Staffieri, Ph.D. “This partnership with Neighborhood Healthcare allows us to provide additional behavioral health supports to even more students in our district. Access to behavioral health services is especially important for our community as nearly 80 percent of students in our district are either homeless, foster youth, or of low socio-economic status.”

The behavioral health mobile services program at the Escondido High School District’s campuses will cost approximately $720,000. The funding for this initiative came in part from:

  • Neighborhood Healthcare’s 2021 fundraising gala
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • The San Diego County Board of Supervisors
  • The US Health Resources and Services Administration

About Neighborhood Healthcare  

Neighborhood Healthcare provides quality, compassionate, whole-person care to everyone, regardless of their circumstance, throughout San Diego and Riverside Counties. We go above and beyond in serving those in need with high integrity, professionalism, and in the spirit of collaboration, just as we did when founded more than 50 years ago. In doing so, we dedicate ourselves to improving community health so everyone can live happy and healthy lives.

About Escondido Union High School District

The Escondido Union High School District has empowered students to graduate prepared for college, career, and life through excellence in learning for more than 125 years. The district serves nearly 7,000 students across five high schools including: Escondido, Orange Glen, and San Pasqual, Del Lago Academy and Valley; as well as the Escondido Adult School.  More than 900 staff members are employed by Escondido Union High School District, which offers more than 180 courses, including nationally recognized Advanced Placement courses, College & Career Technical Education, Independent Study, after school enrichment, career exploration, STEM opportunities, and more.

Neighborhood Healthcare partners with North County Family Justice Center “One Safe Place”

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (August 16, 2022) – Neighborhood Healthcare, a regional Federally Qualified Health Center providing a wide range of medical, dental, and behavioral health services, announced today its partnership with the North County Family Justice Center,’”One Safe Place.”

The center, operated by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, serves anyone who experienced family violence, elder abuse, child abuse, hate crimes, human trafficking, or other crimes.

“We provide comprehensive services in a safe and judgment-free environment that empowers people to move forward with their lives,” said San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan, who spearheaded the creation of One Safe Place. “We have dozens of community partners on site who are here to help. We’re grateful to count Neighborhood Healthcare as one of them.”

As part of the agreement, Neighborhood Healthcare will provide assistance with Medi-Cal, Medicare, and CalFresh enrollment from a bilingual Certified Enrollment Counselor. The non-profit will expand also its services for One Safe Place participants in the coming months to include offsite behavioral health services, adult and pediatric care, routine lab testing, and other offerings. Neighborhood Healthcare’s providers are culturally sensitive and experienced in working with refugees and the unhoused. Many of the organization’s staff are also bilingual in Spanish or Arabic.

“Neighborhood Healthcare recognizes that health is about more than just vac-cines and checkups,” said Rakesh Patel, MD, CEO of Neighborhood Healthcare. “This partnership with the North County Family Justice Center is important to us. It will ensure we continue to help all our neighbors eliminate barriers to achieving their best life, whether financial, social, or otherwise.”

 

More information about One Safe Place is available at https://onesafeplacenorth.org/about-us/

About Neighborhood Healthcare 

Neighborhood Healthcare provides quality, compassionate, whole-person care to everyone, regardless of their circumstance, throughout San Diego and Riverside Counties. We go above and beyond in serving those in need with high integrity, professionalism, and in the spirit of collaboration, just as we did when founded more than 50 years ago. In doing so, we dedicate ourselves to improving community health so everyone can live happy and healthy lives

Reversing the Growth Youth Mental Health Crisis

Guest Host Dr. Devon Berkheiser

On December 7, The United States surgeon general warned that young people are facing “devastating” mental health effects because of the challenges experienced by their generation, including the coronavirus pandemic. Here are some ways our professionals can help educate and engage parents to recognize the signs and symptoms to receive the care their child deserves. Dr. Alejandra Postlethwaite is a board-certified community, adult, adolescent, and child psychiatrist, and an assistant clinical professor in the UC San Diego Department of Psychiatry. After completing medical school at the Universidad Autonoma of Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico, she lived and worked in San Juan Teitipac, Oaxaca, as a family practitioner. She received her psychiatric training at Harvard Medical School and UC San Diego, her child and adolescent psychiatric training at UCLA, and her psychoanalytic psychotherapy training at the Boston Psychoa.

SDBJ’s 2022 Healthcare Heroes

 

Conrad Prebys Foundation grants Neighborhood Healthcare $50,000

The Conrad Prebys Foundation grants Neighborhood Healthcare $50,000 for high blood pressure initiative

 

– Funds to provide SMART Blood Pressure monitoring equipment to patients with uncontrolled hypertension –

 

ESCONDIDO, Calif. (January 11, 2022) – Neighborhood Healthcare, a regional Federally Qualified Health Center providing a wide range of health services, announced today that it will expand its services to patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure.

 

The Conrad Prebys Foundation’s $50,000 grant will allow the non-profit to provide SMART Blood Pressure monitoring equipment to individuals suffering from hypertension.

“We intend to serve at least 2,500 patients per year over the next two years,” said Michelle Hughes, PharmD Director of Quality & Population Health at Neighborhood Healthcare. “Our goal is to improve patients’ heart health from a collective 56 percent control rate to 80 percent in that time. We’re grateful to the Conrad Prebys Foundation for supporting this as part of our mission to provide quality, compassionate, whole-person care to everyone regardless of circumstance.”

The SMART Blood Pressure system includes testing and monitoring machines with electronic hubs that can directly transmit real-time blood pressure readings to the patient’s Primary Care Provider. Neighborhood Healthcare practitioners will use the data to create individualized treatment plans, adjust medication as needed, encourage lifestyle adjustments such as diet and exercise, and provide counseling for patients struggling to stay on track with their hypertension management.

Moreover, this initiative will help the non-profit address any other factors affecting the health of patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure, such as housing, food and employment insecurity, through its work with other agencies.

An estimated 103 million U.S. adults – nearly half of the country’s adult population –

have high blood pressure, according to 2018 statistics from the American Heart Association. According to the Mayo Clinic, hypertension can lead to disability, poor quality of life, or even a fatal heart attack or stroke.

“The last 18 months have highlighted the critical importance of having equitable access to quality health care and health education,” said Erin Decker, director of grantmaking at The Conrad Prebys Foundation. “The Foundation is honored to have a role in ensuring these organizations have the resources and tools they need to promote the overall wellbeing of our community members.”

The Conrad Prebys Foundation was established by real estate entrepreneur Conrad Prebys to perpetuate his commitment to philanthropic endeavors. The Conrad Prebys Foundation inspires transformational change by funding projects in alignment with Conrad Prebys’ legacy interests and continuing his efforts that spark meaningful advancement in our communities. For more information, visit www.ConradPrebysFoundation.org.

About Neighborhood Healthcare  

Neighborhood Healthcare provides quality, compassionate, whole-person care to everyone, regardless of their circumstance, throughout San Diego and Riverside Counties. We go above and beyond in serving those in need with high integrity, professionalism, and in the spirit of collaboration, just as we did when founded more than 50 years ago. In doing so, we dedicate ourselves to improving community health so everyone can live happy and healthy lives.

How to prevent and treat STDs

Every year, millions of people in the United States get a sexually transmitted disease.

Knowing how to prevent STDs and what to do if you get one is an important part of being sexually healthy.
Here are answers to some questions you may have about STDs.

What is an STD?

A sexually transmitted disease comes from an infection that is passed between people when they have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. This sexually transmitted infection can then become a disease. That’s why you may hear STIs and STDs discussed together.

Sometimes STDs cause symptoms, like sores or bumps on your genitals, pain when you pee, unusual smells or discharges, or pain during sex. Other times, STDs don’t cause any symptoms. That’s why you should regularly get tested for STDs if you are having sex.

“If you receive a positive STD diagnosis, know that all are treatable with medicine and some are curable entirely,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national public health agency for the country.

Neighborhood Healthcare offers testing that is 100% confidential and safe for a low cost or for free.

 

What can you do to prevent STDs?

The best way to avoid STDs is to not have any kind of sex. If you do have sex, you can take steps to lower the chance that you get an STD.

First, use a condom correctly every time you have sex. While this will help, some STDs like herpes or human papillomavirus, commonly called HPV, can be passed through skin contact, even if you wear a condom.

Second, get vaccinated against HPV, the most common sexually transmitted infection in the country. The vaccine is given in two or three doses, depending on your age, and can prevent health problems like genital warts and cancer.

“Over 15 years of monitoring have shown that HPV vaccines are very safe and effective,” according to the CDC. “Like all vaccines, scientists continue to monitor HPV vaccines to ensure they are safe and effective.”

Finally, go to the doctor for regular medical checkups and get tested during them. Whether or not you have symptoms of an STD, getting tested is the only way to know if you have one.

 

What should you do if you have an STD?

If you are diagnosed with an STD, you should get treated right away.

“Getting an STD is not the end,” according to the CDC. “Many STDs are curable and all are treatable. If either you or your partner is infected with an STD that can be cured, both of you need to start treatment immediately to avoid getting re-infected.”

If you don’t treat an STD, it can cause worse health problems, including pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, genital pain, pain during sex, and a higher chance of getting HIV.

You should tell anyone you’ve had sex with about your STD, so they can also get tested.

 

You can get tested and treated for STIs, STDs, HIV, and HPV at Neighborhood Healthcare, which offers in-person and video appointments, as well as free and low-cost options to eligible patients. Schedule online at nhcare.org or by calling 833-867-4642.

Why regular check-ups matter when you are sexually active

Visiting a doctor for regular check-ups is an important part of staying healthy. When you are having sex, those visits become even more essential.

Being sexually healthy includes getting tested and treated for any infections or diseases. Here are the tests you should discuss at regular checkups if you are sexually active — and why they are important.

 

HPV and pap tests

Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection. While the infection can go away on its own, certain types of HPV cause genital warts and cancer.

Anyone can get HPV and pass it to someone else during sex, but only people with vaginas can be tested. This involves a doctor taking cells from the cervix for testing. If a test comes back positive for HPV, the doctor will do a pap test — also called a pap smear or cervical screening — which follows a similar process to the HPV test. That test will show if there are abnormal cells in the cervix that could lead to cervical cancer.

There is no cure for HPV, but warts may go away on their own or with treatment. Because having HPV means you might get cancer in the future, you’ll want to continue getting regular pap tests. However, you can prevent HPV with a vaccination, which you can ask for at a regular checkup.

Even if you don’t have HPV, you should plan to get a pap test starting in your early 20s and get both an HPV and a pap test every five years.

 

Gonorrhea and chlamydia tests

Gonorrhea and chlamydia are sexually transmitted infections that can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in people with vaginas. This disease can later cause ectopic pregnancies, which are pregnancies outside the womb that cannot progress, or infertility.

In people with testicles, gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause a painful condition in the tubes that are attached to the testicles and may cause infertility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the national public health agency for the country.

When you are tested for these two STIs, you will give a urine sample or a doctor may take a cell sample from the vagina, penis, rectum, or throat. If you test positive, the cure for both STIs is an antibiotic.

 

Other tests

While HPV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea are the most common STIs, there are other infections you should be tested for to avoid health problems:

  • Oral or genital herpes can cause sores and blisters around the mouth or genitals. Treatment can prevent or shorten outbreaks, but there is no cure. Getting tested and treated at regular checkups can help you avoid passing herpes to a partner.
  • Hepatitis B is a liver infection. While there are treatment options, there is no cure. Fortunately, there is a vaccination, which you can request at a regular checkup.
  • Human immunodeficiency virus, known as HIV, attacks the immune system. While there are treatment options, there is no cure. If you have any kind of sex, you should be tested for HIV at least once and perhaps more often.
  • Syphilis is an infection that can cause sores and, without treatment, damage the heart, brain, and other organs. Getting treated can cure syphilis.
  • Trichomoniasis is a disease caused by a parasite that can cause itching, burning, and discomfort during sex. Getting treated can cure trichomoniasis.

You can start regular checkups with the help of Neighborhood Healthcare, which offers in-person and video appointments, as well as free and low-cost options to eligible patients. Schedule online at nhcare.org or by calling 833-867-4642.

Family Planning: Birth Control Methods

Birth control you can use to prevent pregnancy and STDs

Birth control is an important part of sexual health because it prevents unwanted pregnancies. One type of birth control can also prevent sexually transmitted infections — which can become sexually transmitted diseases, commonly called STDs.

If you are having sex and do not want to have a baby, you should use birth control. If you are having sex and want to prevent sexually transmitted infections, you should use condoms.

Here are the types of birth control you can use.

Condoms

Condoms are the only form of birth control that can also prevent STIs. These small pouches work by creating a barrier, so a sperm and egg cannot meet, which means you or your partner cannot get pregnant.

There are a couple kinds of condoms. The one most people have heard of is the kind that goes over a penis during sex. It is usually latex or plastic and is sometimes called a male condom, a rubber, or an external condom.

The other type of condom is an internal condom, which can be used inside a vagina or anus. It is made of plastic and is sometimes called a female condom.

“When using a condom there is less contact with semen and vaginal fluid,” according to Family PACT, an organization that helps California residents with family planning. “There is also less skin to skin contact that can spread STDs. That’s double protection!”

No matter which type of condom you use, it can be used only once, meaning you should use a new condom every time you have sex.

For an even better chance of preventing pregnancy, an external or internal condom can be used at the same time as another birth control method, such as the birth control pill or IUD.

You can buy condoms without a prescription.

Birth control pills

Birth control pills are pills with hormones that are taken every day to prevent pregnancy. These pills are for people with ovaries and a uterus, meaning a person who wasn’t born with those organs or who has had them removed through surgery will not need to take them.

One type of birth control pill has the hormone progestin in it and the other type has both progestin and estrogen in it.

“The pill has hormones that stop your ovaries from releasing eggs,” according to FamilyPACT. “They also thicken cervical mucus, which blocks sperm from ever getting to an egg.”

Unlike a condom, you need a prescription for the pill, which means you should visit a doctor to discuss if it is right for you. You may be able to have the cost covered by FamilyPACT through Neighborhood Healthcare.

 

IUDs

An intrauterine device is a T-shaped piece of plastic or copper that is placed in a uterus by a doctor. Plastic IUDs have hormones that prevent pregnancy, while copper IUDs work by killing sperm cells before they reach an egg.

Both types of IUDs are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, and you won’t need to replace a hormonal IUD for three to six years and a copper IUD for 10 years.

Other types of birth control methods include implants, a vaginal ring, a patch, and more. You can choose the method that’s right for you by talking to a doctor at Neighborhood Healthcare, where you may be able to get free birth control, even without insurance. Schedule an appointment online at nhcare.org or by calling 833-867-4642.

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