From its humble beginnings in 1991, when operating out of a small trailer, the Prenatal Clinic at Sharp Grossmont Hospital was one of only three clinics in San Diego’s East County accessible to women on Medi-Cal who were in need of prenatal care. Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid health care program, ensures that qualified pregnant women have access to comprehensive care for a low cost to support the health of both mother and baby.
This aligns with the clinic’s founding goal to help women who might otherwise face challenges obtaining these much-needed medical services, thus positioning the clinic as a beacon of hope for many in our community.
Fast forward 30 years, and Sharp Grossmont’s Prenatal Clinic continues to thrive and provide culturally sensitive, individualized and compassionate quality care to women in need at a critical time in their lives. Women can initiate care at any point during their pregnancy, and are provided follow-up care up until 8 weeks after giving birth.
New home, same exceptional care
Over the years, the Prenatal Clinic has relocated a few times, but is now settled into a new home inside the Grossmont Medical Arts Building, conveniently located just across the street from the Sharp Grossmont Hospital for Women & Newborns. Patients have easy access to necessary services near each other, including ultrasound, lab, outpatient fetal monitoring, and pharmacy services, as well as physician consultations and primary care during pregnancy.
This clinic offers prenatal care as part of the state of California’s Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP) — services available to all who are pregnant and insured with Medi-Cal in California. In addition to the traditional medical prenatal care, this unique program provides individualized appointments for nutrition, psychosocial and health education services, which are provided by licensed registered dietitians, counselors, certified lactation consultants, health educators and comprehensive perinatal health care workers. Other supportive services include Medi-Cal enrollment services and childbirth classes.
The prenatal care is led by certified nurse midwives and provided by midwives and nurse practitioners, with consultations immediately available with perinatologists and obstetrician-gynecologists. Each person plays a critical role in assisting patients to achieve the best outcome for their unique prenatal care journey.
Building relationships is as important as providing care
The clinic ensures that each woman feels comfortable and confident in understanding their care plan, with bilingual staff and interpretation services. According to Patty Szekeres, supervisor of the Prenatal Clinic and Perinatal Ultrasound, patients often share how welcoming staff is and how supported and comfortable they feel when receiving care.
“Referrals account for so many of the visits at our clinic,” she says. “It’s important that women feel seen, heard and valued when they’re with us. And they want their friends or family who may need services to experience that too. We even have patients who share with us that they feel treated like family when they’re in our care.”
Szekeres says the Sharp Grossmont Prenatal Clinic is exceptional because they offer something very special. She reports that women in their care tell them how happy they are that they found the clinic, and not only because they are in the best hands.
“It goes beyond that,” she says. “They know that we will treat them with respect and build a relationship with them. We wrap our arms around them to make sure they have what they need.”