“We also wanted to get into an area that had more foot traffic, a little bit more in a community-based area where we can serve a broader population,” Chu said. “So, we looked particularly in San Marcos because we didn’t want to go too far from our existing location in Escondido.”
The design of the new facility began in July of 2020, which allowed Scripps to incorporate social distancing and small spaces for doctors to conduct virtual visits. Since moving into the facility in May, Chu said they have a capacity to care for approximately 18,000-20,000 patients.
“We had been looking for a new facility to expand services and our ability to grow our physicians and grow our access for the community,” said Chu, who also serves as chief executive, accountable care organization for Scripps Health.
To accommodate young families in the community, the San Marcos facility also offers pediatrics, which was not previously featured in the Escondido space. In addition to primary care, San Marcos added ancillary services and a rheumatologist who is seeing patients once a week at the site.
The facility also features three negative pressure rooms, which pull air out of the room to minimize airborne infection and are often seen in hospital emergency rooms for isolated patients.
Growing in North County
The location of the new Scripps facility, right by California State University, San Marcos builds on the health group’s presence in North County and in the city of San Marcos.
“The city of San Marcos has grown into a health-care hub for northern San Diego County, and we are thrilled to welcome Scripps Coastal Medical Center to our new downtown community of North City,” said Rebecca Jones, mayor of San Marcos in a statement. “Top quality health care now joins this new, vibrant mixed-use space that is quickly becoming the heart of San Marcos.”
Chu said that the addition of a Scripps HealthExpress walk-in clinic — the fifteenth location for Scripps Health — also offers a convenient care option as they are constantly looking for ways to grow and change with the needs of patients.
“We want to be able to get care as close to home as possible for [patients],” Chu said. “The thing that we’re starting to see quite a bit is the need for convenience, the need for increased access, the need to be able to provide a kind of same day, immediate care whether it’s video visits, through a basic short walk-in visit or establishing a long-term relationship with a primary care physician.”
CEO: Chris Van Gorder
HEADQUARTERS: La Jolla
REVENUE: $3.56 billion FY 2020; $3.36 billion FY 2019
NOTABLE: Scripps was founded by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps.