Health officials, supervisor celebrate at Ramona clinic open house

Dr. Marcelo Rivera, of Ramona, performs the official ribbon cutting of the new Ramona Ambulatory Care Center. From left are: Stephen Yerxa, Palomar Health board vice chair; Ted Kleiter, Palomar Health board chairman; Rivera; County Supervisor Dianne Jacob; Victoria Lister, executive director of Arch Health Partners; Linda Greer, Palomar Health board secretary, and Robin Rowland, board member of Arch Health Partners. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard
Dr. Marcelo Rivera, of Ramona, performs the official ribbon cutting of the new Ramona Ambulatory Care Center. From left are: Stephen Yerxa, Palomar Health board vice chair; Ted Kleiter, Palomar Health board chairman; Rivera; County Supervisor Dianne Jacob; Victoria Lister, executive director of Arch Health Partners; Linda Greer, Palomar Health board secretary, and Robin Rowland, board member of Arch Health Partners. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

By Karen Brainard

Palomar Health officials, Arch Health Partners doctors and District 2 County Supervisor Dianne Jacob welcomed Ramona residents to the open house of the new Ramona Ambulatory Care Center on Saturday, April 13.

The 7,600-square-foot clinic is on 13th Street, just off Main Street,  and across from the Ramona Library.

Those speaking included Jacob, Arch Health Partners  Executive Director Victoria Lister, Palomar Health Board Chairman Ted Kleiter, Palomar Health Chief Executive Officer Michael Covert, Dr. Christine Lind, and Dr. Marcelo Rivera, who as a Ramona resident and member of the Palomar Health board was instrumental in bringing the medical clinic to Ramona.

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County Supervisor Dianne Jacob presents a proclamation from the county honoring the Ramona Ambulatory Care Center to Ted Kleiter, chairman of the board for Palomar Health and Victoria Lister, executive director of Arch Health Partners. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

A key message was that residents of Ramona and backcountry communities need to support the clinic. Officials said the more business the care center receives, the greater the chance for expansion and longer urgent care hours.

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Dr. Marcelo Rivera says members of the community need to support the new medical building. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

“Please make an effort to use this facility so we can one day expand it,” said Jacob.

The three-hour open house included free screenings, entertainment, food, and tours of the new building.

“I’m really happy that we have it, especially with urgent care,” said Violet Jagers of Ramona. “It’s necessary.”

“I think the exam rooms are large and attractive and well-equipped,” said Carolyn Wallace, Sr.

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Palomar Health Chief Executive Officer Michael Covert talks about the new medical center. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard

Melanie Parker, who has been in Ramona for 34 years, said, “It’s a big step up for us. We’re all thrilled.”

Costing about $6 million, the care center was made possible with the passage of Proposition BB, the nearly $500 million bond measure that district voters approved in 2004, and that also funded the new Palomar Medical Center building in Escondido.

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A clown at the care center’s open house delights four-year-old twins Gavin, left, and Carter Roman with balloon creations. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard
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Open house guests tour the new Ramona Ambulatory Care Center. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard
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Dr. Stephen Shewmake performs a cancer screening check on County Supervisor Dianne Jacob. Sentinel photo/Karen Brainard
   
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