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Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Announces $1 Million to Help Provide Advanced Cardiac Care Services in Eastern San Diego County

Nonprofit health plan’s community investment will increase access to heart care services in underserved community

EL CAJON, Calif. (March 30 2022) – Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan today announced a $1 million community investment to help build a new state-of-the-art cardiac care clinic in this eastern San Diego County community.

The nonprofit health plan’s support will help Family Health Centers of San Diego (FHCSD) build a new urgent care and cardiac care clinic that’s expected to open by the end of the year. Family Health Centers of San Diego is the county’s largest health center system serving the region’s low-income residents.

The goal of the new clinic is to increase area residents’ access to urgent medical and cardiac care services within their community instead of relying on local hospital emergency departments. 

“We know that access to quality care is imperative for every community if we are going to keep people healthy and living life to their fullest,” said James Cruz, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Blue Shield Promise. “We are honored to help Family Health Centers of San Diego expand access to much-needed medical and heart care for residents in El Cajon and across San Diego County.”

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Dr. James Cruz

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for all Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it also is responsible for 20% of the deaths of people of Hispanic descent, who make up nearly 30% of El Cajon’s population. A study by the University of California San Francisco also has shown poverty is a significant risk factor for the sharply increased incidence of heart disease in low-income communities, making accessible cardiac care enormously important in El Cajon where more than 14% of residents live below the poverty line.

“With this support, FHCSD is poised to address a critical need within the City of El Cajon and surrounding East County communities for high-quality, culturally competent urgent care and cardiology services for low-income and medically underserved communities who are at disproportionate risk for heart disease,” said Fran Butler-Cohen, CEO of FHCSD. “The new El Cajon Urgent Care Clinic will not only increase community access to urgent medical and cardiac care services, but by reducing inappropriate emergency department use will preserve vital hospital resources.”

The new urgent care clinic will expand the services already offered by Family Health Centers of San Diego’s El Cajon Family Health Center, which currently offers comprehensive primary and preventive care including complete well child and acute care, adult medicine, women’s health care, integrated behavioral health care, vision services, dental care, and physical rehabilitation.


About Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan

Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan is a managed care organization, wholly owned by Blue Shield of California, offering Medi-Cal and Cal MediConnect. It is led by healthcare professionals with a “members-first” philosophy and committed to building a quality network of providers and partnering with community organizations for more than 400,000 members. For more information about Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan, please visit

For more news about Blue Shield of California, please visit Or follow the health plan on LinkedInTwitter, or Facebook.


About Family Health Centers of San Diego
For over 50 years, Family Health Centers of San Diego’s (FHCSD) mission has been to provide caring, affordable, high-quality health care and supportive services to everyone, with a special commitment to uninsured, low-income and medically underserved persons. FHCSD is one of the nation’s ten largest FQHCs, operating 50 sites across the county and providing care to over 215,000 patients each year, of whom 91% are low income and 29% are uninsured. For more information, please visit