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San Diego health clinic faces uncertain future amid county's housing plan

Posted at 8:13 AM, Sep 29, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – The San Ysidro Health Clinic on Ocean View Boulevard has been in the Logan Heights neighborhood for a long time.

“We have been a part of that community for 15 years,” said Dr. Irene Zink, the Clinical Medical Director for the San Ysidro Health Clinic. “The community gets compassionate, affordable, and accessible healthcare for all.”

“No waiting at all, and the people there are really nice. They’re really, really good people. It’s really convenient for me,” said patient Ralph Rangel.

However, a plan approved by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors has put worry into some people who use and work at the clinic.

“The clinic is definitely in jeopardy,” Zink said.

County officials told ABC 10News that a plan is in place to create affordable housing and a health clinic at the Ocean View Boulevard location where San Ysidro Health currently stands.

A spokesperson for the county said in an email, “The plan for the property supports the County’s commitment to creating more affordable housing, which includes the development of housing on County-owned property that no longer serves its original purpose. 3177 Oceanview Boulevard was identified as one such property as the aging buildings have reached the end of their useful life.”

“What upsets us is because the County is saying that the developer who bids the highest or who gives the best RFP is going to decide who gets to be the health care provider,” Zink said.

Zink said they’ve built a trust among the community to give them the best care possible.

“It’s really fortunate for the people there and the people that don’t have transportation; they’re able to walk there,” Rangel said.

If the facility is chosen to stay by a potential developer, there’s another worry about the looming plan.

“But to continue to do that and give the full spectrum of care that we do, we need to have the space allowed that’s going to be enough,” Zink said. “We support the low-income living, and those people are going to need help also.”

When it came to those concerns and others, county staff spent some of Thursday night listening and explaining where the plan is at the moment.

“That’s the purpose we’re serving. We’re getting educated. We’re wanting to learn. We’re wanting to take this back and we’re wanting to incorporate it,” one staff member told those who attended the community meeting.

The county said it’ll work with the community to get input on what’s most important for them as the project moves forward -- something Zink hopes is taken to heart.

“This is not just coming in and making a new development. But it’s about their health care and their future. And the lack of continuity that will happen if we are moved out would be detrimental,” Zink said.

The county also told ABC 10News they’re working to make sure San Ysidro Health can stay at the Ocean View Boulevard location for the next two years until demolition and construction begin.