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Casa de Amparo in San Marcos debuts new on-site medical facility

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in San Marcos on Thursday for a new onsite medical facility at Casa De Amparo.

Casa de Amparo, or Home of Protection, serves foster youth ages 12 to 18 who have experienced abuse and neglect.

The TrueCare and Lennar Foundation Health Center will offer a medical exam room, minilab, and office space with a physician and medical assistant.


“What it does is it provides the ability to have on-site medical services," said Michael Barnett, the CEO of Casa De Amparo. "We’ve always had on-site behavioral health services, the girls here receive daily one-on-one therapy, but accessing medical care has been an issue.”

Before the new facility was opened, Barnett said, youth would need to travel to receive medical attention.

He said those trips weren't always easy. “Because they don't trust members of the community who say: ‘This is a doctor — he's here to help you,’" Barnett said. "Well, they’ve been abused in their life and they have a lot of anxiety when they have to drive you out into Escondido or Vista or San Marcos and have you see the doctor."

“By making these primary care medical services available to these young women and their children, we are investing in each of them because we believe in the promise that they hold for a brighter future,” said Michelle Gonzalez, the CEO of TrueCare, which is running the facility.      

Barnett said he was thrilled about having the medical facility in support of the youth.


“Telling them: 'The doctor's right here on campus, where you know you're safe, and we just have to take a little walk up the hill and go to the clinic' — that's a much lower barrier for our girls, which means they go to the doctor, follow the advice the doctor gives them, and that leads to better outcomes for all," he said.