A letter from our department chief: Who we are & what we do
Welcome to Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD) Department of Psychiatry. We are thrilled to learn about your interest in our residency program and look forward to meeting you.
FHCSD was founded in 1970 when a group of community leaders led by Laura Rodriguez advocated to bring much-needed medical services to immigrant residents in Barrio Logan—one of the largest Mexican American communities on the West coast. Their grassroot efforts successfully led to acquiring a building in the Barrio Logan community, establishing the Chicano Free Clinic. Subsequently, the name of the clinic was changed to Logan Heights Family Health Center. Over the last 50 years, FHCSD has grown to be the largest Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in San Diego County and among the top 10 largest FQHC’s in the nation.
FHCSD’s unwavering focus on providing high-quality, fully integrated medical and behavioral health services has resulted in numerous state and national recognitions. Notable examples include FHCSD being the second health center in the nation to receive The Joint Commission’s designation as a Primary Care Medical Home. In 2019, FHCSD received the largest quality improvement award of any health center in the nation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Award. In 2021, FHCSD’s behavioral health programs achieved accreditation by The Joint Commission—the only community clinic in San Diego County to achieve this award. Additionally, the mental health department was awarded the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) distinction in behavioral health integration.
The mental health department at FHCSD is the largest outpatient provider for mental health services in San Diego County. Composed of more than 20 primary care clinics with integrated mental health services, 15+ behavioral health facilities and mobile counseling centers, FHCSD has become a trusted mental health referral source for various organizations within San Diego. This includes formal collaborations with nine community hospitals, which entail the hospital transitioning acute medicine, psychiatry and emergency room patients to FHCSD psychiatric, substance use disorder treatment and medical services. In addition to offering traditional outpatient mental health services, our mental health department is one of the few FQHC’s to offer a concentrated mental health program (CMHP) where higher acuity patients can receive intensive outpatient mental health services. FHCSD mental health providers treating serious mental illnesses (SMI), and patients suffering from SMI, are supported by our FHCSD clozaril and long-acting injectable (LAI) clinics. Patient’s suffering from co-occurring disorders can receive treatment at our licensed substance use disorder (SUD) outpatient programs, as well as our clinic-based integrated SUD service counselors. We are the largest outpatient service provider for providing medication assisted treatment (MAT) services in the area and offer mobile MAT and a syringe services program.
We have a proud history of providing high-quality and affordable health care to everyone, with a special commitment to the uninsured, low-income and medically underserved populations. In 2022, FHCSD provided over one million patient encounters and, of the individuals served, over 90% were low-income and 29% uninsured. Additionally, FHCSD is a strong local supporter of the LGBTQ community and provides primary care, gender-affirming care and mental health services to this population within a welcoming and open health care environment. We are also the largest provider of HIV and hepatitis treatment and prevention services in the region.
FHCSD has a strong commitment to educating and training medical professionals and leaders from diverse backgrounds who will meet the future health care needs for our nation’s underserved and communities of color. In addition to the Psychiatry Residency Program, we have an established and fully accredited Family Medicine Residency Program.
We are also a clinical training site for the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Adult Community Psychiatry Residency Program, UCSD Child & Adolescent Fellowship Program, UCSD Psychiatry Addiction Fellowship Program, the University of San Diego (USD) Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner training program and the Nurse Practitioner Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR) Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Program (ICPP) in partnership with UCSD, USD and Scripps Mercy Hospital. Additionally, we have a strong commitment to studying and understanding ways to improve community-based health care services through research and contributing to the body of medical knowledge through FHCSD’s Laura Rodriguez Research Institute (LRRI).
In addition to what FHCSD has to offer, our psychiatry residents will receive additional training from our partners at Scripps Mercy Hospital, SHARP Mesa Vista and Naval Medical Center San Diego. FHCSD residents will receive the training and experiences necessary to enter any practice setting with an emphasis in producing excellent community psychiatrists and leaders in the community.
Please explore our website; there is information here to answer many of your questions. Do not hesitate to contact us; we are interested in facilitating the best match of outstanding candidates with all our program has to offer.
I look forward to meeting you!
Joe Sepulveda, M.D., FAPA, FASAM
Chief of the Department of Psychiatry, FHCSD
- Obtain and utilize clinical data by patient interview, physical and/or mental status examination, and interpretation of testing and other data across varied clinical settings, in person and remotely, to prioritize problems and formulate differential diagnoses
- Demonstration of critical thinking skills to diagnose and care for adult patients with common mental disorders/illnesses and the more complex, undifferentiated illnesses/disorders with or without comorbidities
- Formulation of diagnostic and therapeutic plans demonstrating awareness of risks, benefits, costs, patient preferences, and ethical and/or psychosocial issues
- Advocate for patients, using knowledge of the health care system and available resources to achieve mutual patient care goals
- Demonstration of excellent leadership and communication skills with patients, families, colleagues and other members of the health care team, that expresses respect, compassion and cultural awareness
- A commitment to ethical principles and to their professional responsibilities, including self-care and fitness for work
- Exhibiting the habits of lifelong learning and self-assessment, including an awareness of own strengths and limitations, practice assessment and professional development to improve patient care and meet societal needs
- Proficiency in locating and critically analyzing medical literature to answer clinical questions, keep abreast of current literature, apply to clinical practice and share knowledge with patients, their families, colleagues and other health care professionals