December 2021
Adelante: Staying Safe During the Holidays

A Note from the CEO


As we approach the New Year, it is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the passionate efforts of our health care workers as they helped manage our local response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. 2021 was a challenging year, and the pandemic took its toll.

FHCSD’s contributions have created a significant, countywide impact. FHCSD staff administered over 157,000 vaccinations and provided nearly 2,500 infusions of monoclonal antibodies. These infusions helped to save lives. I am grateful to those who staffed our vaccination sites, worked our infusion clinics and engaged in outreach, education and testing.

As health care providers to the most vulnerable in our communities, we still have much to do. Now, we must regain what we lost during COVID-19. During the most acute stage of the pandemic, children went without childhood immunization, families went without mental health counseling and some patients were unable to seek consistent care with their physicians.

This holiday season, our friends and partners at Curology are matching donations to FHCSD. Please consider supporting our work and doubling your impact during our holiday match campaign.


In addition to a financial contribution, you can support Family Health Centers of San Diego in the following ways:

  • Do your holiday shopping at AmazonSmile and choose Family Health Centers of San Diego as your charitable organization. For every eligible product, AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to FHCSD.
  • Donate new or gently-loved baby items to our Baby Boutique. This program encourages new parents to complete their postpartum care while helping them obtain essential baby items.

On behalf of all of us at FHCSD, I hope you and your loved ones have a happy and safe holiday season. We look forward to a healthier 2022!

Happy Holidays,

Fran Butler-Cohen, CEO

Health Care Quality Leader

Family Health Centers of San Diego takes great pride in the quality of care we provide, and our efforts have resulted in significant accolades for the organization. These honors include recent recognition from the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA), the Joint Commission and the Human Rights Campaign.

HRSA’s Community Health Center Quality Recognition awards include accolades for outstanding quality amongst health centers, access to health care, reducing health disparities, advancing health information technology and our COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

In addition, FHCSD earned the “LGBTQ Healthcare Equality Leader” designation in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Healthcare Equality Index for the third consecutive year. We are the only health center in the region and one of only three local health care systems to earn the designation.

FHCSD has again received accreditation by The Joint Commission for Ambulatory Care and Primary Care Medical Home. After 25 years of medical accreditation, FHCSD decided to also seek accreditation for its behavioral health services. Mission accomplished in 2021! The Joint Commission is the nation’s preeminent health care standards-setting body, and FHCSD is proud to have been accredited continuously since 1996.

FHCSD Offers COVID-19 Vaccines for Children 5 to 11 Years Old

Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendation of the Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years old, Family Health Centers of San Diego has expanded its vaccination efforts to patients ages five and older.

“By vaccinating your child, you are protecting your child from COVID-19 and decreasing the risk of serious illness or hospitalization if they contract COVID-19,” said Dr. Spitzer. “The vaccine was tested on more than 3,000 children in the 5 to 11-year-old age group before approval by the FDA. Most children will experience post-vaccine symptoms similar to those that teens and adults experience – pain at the injection site, possible fatigue, a headache or fever for 1-2 days.”

According to the CDC, the pediatric vaccine can help reduce a child’s risk of severe disease, hospitalizations or developing long-term COVID-19 complications. Additionally, vaccinations can minimize disruptions to in-person learning and activities by helping curb community transmission.

Since November 10, FHCSD has administered at least one dose of the pediatric vaccine to over 1,500 children between 5 to 11 years old, contributing to the countywide total of more than 52,000 persons within that age group.

Parents can schedule Pfizer vaccines for children aged 5 to 11 at several FHCSD vaccination sites by calling (619) 515-2474. Appointments are preferred, though some clinics may have limited walk-in capacity. The vaccine is available at no cost, and patients do not need insurance or a social security number at FHCSD vaccination sites.

Partner Spotlight: Rancho Mesa Insurance

Rancho Mesa Insurance Services is a commercial insurance brokerage providing risk-management solutions to dynamic organizations throughout the United States. As a long-time supporter of Family Health Centers of San Diego, we thank Rancho Mesa Insurance Services for their continued dedication to San Diego and their support of FHCSD’s work in the community.

Staying Healthy During the Holidays

The holiday season is a special time of year full of tradition and cheer. As you and your loved ones prepare for holiday festivities, here are some tips on how to celebrate safely.

  • Get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccinations are effective at preventing you from getting and spreading COVID-19. At FHCSD, we administer COVID-19 vaccines to anyone age five and older. To schedule an appointment, call (619) 515-2474.
  • Prepare for flu season. Make sure to protect yourself and your loved ones by scheduling a flu vaccine at any one of our FHCSD clinics. You can even request a flu shot at your next appointment. Click here for more information.
  • Wear a mask. Following guidance from the California Department of Public Health, San Diego County encourages San Diegans to wear a mask regardless of their vaccination status when in an indoor public setting. During the holidays, your mask may come in handy while at shopping malls and crowded grocery stores. Click here to review the do’s and don’ts of wearing a mask.
  • Wash your hands to prevent spreading germs. Make sure to scrub your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Use the CDC’s travel page before preparing your holiday travel plans. The CDC provides information about domestic and international travel, as well as safety tips. You can view the latest updates here.
  • Consider extra precautions for gatherings. If you are hosting activities with loved ones from different households or with those who have recently traveled, you can encourage additional safety measures by requesting that they take a COVID-19 test before arriving. You can also advise your guests to avoid attending your holiday celebration if sick or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Prioritize your mental health. While the holiday season may be cheerful for some, others may experience increased anxiety, depression and substance misuse. It is essential to talk with a mental health professional if you need support. FHCSD offers a variety of mental health services to help assist you with your needs. For more information, click here or call (619) 515-2338. You can also call 1-800-622-HELP (4357) to contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Helpline, which is free, confidential and operates 24/7 each day.

Stay connected:
Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn
Copyright © 2021 Family Health Centers of San Diego. All Rights Reserved.
Our mailing address is:
823 Gateway Center Way
San Diego CA 92102