Southeast Medical Center Expansion Seeks to Bring Services to ‘Medically Underserved’
San Diego-based Southeast Medical Center, California's first medical center owned and operated by black physicians, will begin an expansion project today designed to provide greater health care services to the medically underserved, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The center, which began in 1973 and primarily serves African-American and Latino patients, must expand to keep up with the health care needs of the surrounding community, Dr. Rodney Hood, who has a practice at the center, said. In 1997, the federal government designated the area around the hospital as medically underserved. Because of "scarc[e]" resources around the center, some patients have been "forced ... to travel long distances to see a doctor or go without health care." Once the $4 million, 35,000-square-foot expansion is completed, the 65,000-square-foot center will house primary and specialty care services. Currently, the center has primary care doctors, laboratory and X-ray services and a drug store. Launching the expansion project has taken 15 years, the Union-Tribune reports, noting that finding tenants and "persuading leading institutions to finance the project" were problems (Fong, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/31).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.