One of the jewels of North County is celebrating 40 years of service to the community this year. North County Health Services is a mainstay of health care services for a diverse section of the region’s population.
Our country is going through either an acceptance or a rejection of the new national health program known as ObamaCare while attempting to adjust to its many facets. We are also going through budget wars between our congressional leaders on the future of Medicare and the entitlements process. But here in the northern region of the county thousands of citizens are enjoying the same excellent care they have received during the last four decades from NCHS.
Here is a glance at NCHS by the numbers in 2010:
• 257,409 clinical visits;
• 59,050 patients serve;
• 50,173 people served through community outreach; and
• patient retention rate of 95 percent.
In addition to those statistics, they have 538 employees, which includes 39 physicians and 39 certified nurse midwives, nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants with a $43 million annual budget.
We congratulate Irma Cota, president and CEO of North County Health Services, on providing four decades of quality care to her customers.
In Other North County News:
Carlsbad has two interesting news tidbits. The first is that the $100 million new high school on Cannon Road has finally been named. The school is being built to handle the city’s growing population and the overload at Carlsbad High School. Naming of a school is usually an easy process. The schools are typically named by the street name where they are located. In this case, that is partly the case, but the community was also asked for names and after boiling the list to 10 names Sage Creek High School was selected. Sage Creek is the habitat area of the Bell’s vireo bird. The name also overcomes confusion over the abbreviation. The current school is CHS and this one will be SCHS.
The second tidbit is City Council’s decision to narrow La Costa Avenue, one of the busiest east/west interior roadways, by two lanes. The narrowing came about due to high-speed vehicle traffic, too many accidents and a costly lawsuit. There was a lot of discussion on the issue. Stay tuned for the discussion about widening the road back to four lanes when traffic begins to snarl and congestion becomes the new issue.
The Parking Situation
Escondido continues striving to help businesses succeed. Its most recent action is the changing of the downtown parking rules. The City Council removed the rule that a new or expanding business had to provide a specific number of parking spaces depending on the type of business. If a business by virtue of its opening took parking spaces, it was required to provide replacement spaces or pay a fee.
The council also removed the time restrictions in the city’s seven-block downtown area parking lots, which had a variety of time restrictions. Without fees and restrictions the council hopes to encourage businesses to relocate or expand downtown.
The City Council of Escondido is in serious discussions to become a charter city. Many cities are moving to vote on changing from general law cities to a charter city. General law cities are bound by ordinances and laws that pertain to zoning, fees, elections and taxation. Charter cities are able to opt out of many burdensome rules and laws. The main reason for the change is to free the city up from having to use prevailing wages during the construction of public projects.
Ted Owen is president and chief executive officer of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce.