Frank Salazar, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District public affairs director, and physician Clara Padron-Spence attend the ribbon cutting for the renovated PMH Calexico Health Center on Feb. 19. Padron-Spence sees patients at the clinic. | Elizabeth Villa photo
It expands its scope of
services in four areas–primary care, express care, pediatrics and women’s
health, Pioneers spokesman Frank Salazar said. That approach won rave reviews
from those attending the ceremony.
Irma Margarita Ortega and
Rosa Maria Benitez (her home service worker) were among those enjoying the
ceremony and adjoining the health fair. Ortega lives in senior apartments
close to the Health Center.
Ortega said “esto es
precioso,” meaning it is precious, and added she was so happy because the
clinic is so close to where she lives.
Benitez added, “I
live very close (to the Health Center) and they give you quick service and
excellent service. I am so glad they made this to help the community of
Melitona Gin and her
husband, Jesus, came with Melitona’s mother, Felicita Gallardo, and their
granddaughter, Luna Gin, 2.
mother, husband and granddaughter have all come here in last few months,
and we have received very good services,” said Melitona Gin.
She added she was very
happy to see physician Clara Padron-Spence and personally thanked the doctor
for previous care for her family. Padron-Spence said she was very honored
and reminded Melitona that she was at her disposal from Monday to Thursday at
the Health Center.
During the ceremony, Padron-Spence
said, “What always was a dream is now a reality.”
The expanded clinic will allow
physicians to see more patients and provide specialized services in their
area, she added.
Construction for the $4
million expansion project started in 2018 and was completed late in 2019.
It included a renovation of 7,600 square feet, an additional 1,600 square
feet for a common lobby/entry, and improvements to the parking lot with a local
transit drop-off area. With its 30 exam rooms, the Health Center is
prepared for current needs and growth, PMH officials said.
In a separate interview during
the health fair, Padron-Spence explained, “I grew up in El
Centro and after college and medical school, I worked at San Diego.
After several years, I came back and opened up my private practice for 10
years and then seven years with Pioneers. Our goal is to treat the family,
and this clinic gives me that opportunity and I serve the whole
The clinic marks a major
improvement in healthcare for the border area, Pioneers District Board
President Maria Aguilera said in an interview.
“This is such a positive
creation for the south-end community because it is used by Calexico and
Mexicali populations, as services were not available in the past,”
she said. “We will be able to have obstetrics in the near future. What a
difference. This is an amazing thing to happen to come to our
The clinic will be open 7
a.m. to midnight Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and