Access to care for the High Desert's most vulnerable

Access to care for the High Desert's most vulnerable

Some of the most vulnerable populations in Southern California live in rural enclaves in the sprawling High Desert area served by St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley. Committed to providing access to affordable quality health care for all, St. Mary operates three standing clinics and two mobile clinics that make regular stops in five areas across the desert.

Providence St. Joseph Health steadfastly believes Health is a Human Right, and access is critical to good health. St. Mary’s clinics serve low-income families, the elderly, those with mental illness, immigrants and children in under-served communities.

The health clinics partner with experts, including clinical social worker Lina Enciso who counseled a client with high levels of stress and a recent diagnose of pre-diabetes. The woman, undocumented and uninsured, made positive life changes that improved her physical and emotional health. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed a year later with cancer and unable to access high-level care. Lina worked tirelessly and overcame roadblocks to get the care her patient needed. The woman soon started treatment, with no sharing of costs.

Our clinical care includes prenatal services, breastfeeding education, primary care for all ages, immunizations, wellness visits, chronic disease management including diabetes and hypertension, nutrition counseling, weight management, counseling services and sports physicals. Flu vaccinations and regular immunizations are among the free and low-cost services available.

In 2019, the eight clinics provided primary care to 10 percent more patients that the previous year, with the goal of addressing health concerns before they become emergencies.

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