Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Re: Re: 'Wellness Center completion put on hold' [Village News, Meadows Letter 3/2/23]

On behalf of the Fallbrook Regional Health District, I would like to thank Mr. Meadows, and many others in the community who have been interacting with the district as we have evolved from a hospital operator to where we are today.

Mr. Meadows presented several facts about the timeline of the district and our efforts to prioritize health promotion and disease prevention services since the closure of the hospital eight years ago. The district has invested in research and consulting services in an attempt to bring the most relevant and helpful health programming to our community.

Our board and leadership have seen some changes since 2015; including three different CEOs and 12 different board members (who are publicly elected or appointed to serve). With each change we saw new perspectives and course corrections. It is through this process that the board identified the need to have professional guidance in our planning efforts.

In 2019, Catalyst was selected as our planning consultants, specifically so that we could move forward with solid evidence-based data. Then 2020 arrived and, like everyone, we had to adjust our planning efforts due to the pandemic. Luckily, our partnerships with many local and county entities allowed for prompt and consistent COVID-19 response efforts offered at the Community Health and Wellness Center.

We also used that time with Catalyst to identify and connect with the types of service providers the Community Needs Assessment report acknowledged would benefit the community. We found a silver lining from the COVID lock down; as existing gaps to health care access, care coordination, and the need for more social and mental health support became evident. These observations and the data from the Catalyst report have been incorporated into our planning efforts.

Unfortunately, Mr. Meadows expressed multiple viewpoints and made several statements that do not accurately represent the current activity of the center. We keep solid metrics on the center’s use to ensure we are offering a wide and diverse set of services.

In January alone, we had 775 visits to the center for programming from Mental Health First Aid, North County Parkinson’s Support Groups, San Diego County Blood Bank, and our Wellness Wednesday Health Screening and Workshop.

We are exceptionally proud to have our Community Health Contract grantee, Michelle’s Place Cancer Resource Center onsite offering resources and guidance for anyone dealing with cancer – they have been receiving grant funding since 2016.

Additionally, many of our monthly visitors, well over 60, are related to our other grantees and health and wellness partners. The district has a long and deep commitment to our nonprofit grantees who bring tremendous value to the wellbeing of the community. We began making grants available in 2000 and today stand at investing over $14 million back into the community for health and wellbeing services.

However, if we have failed to communicate to Mr. Meadows about the activities we are offering, that means we have not communicated enough to the community at large about what services are available. We invite the entire community of Bonsall, De Luz, Fallbrook and Rainbow to join us on Thursday, May 4 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 6 from 2-4 p.m. to come out and see the Community Health and Wellness Center.

Learn about the programs and services we’re offering, discover how the center is a resource, and understand how the district’s Community Health Contract Grants programs supports the wellbeing of the community.

Mr. Meadows suggested that he and his wife are seen as “meddlesome gadflies,” and while I’ll disagree with some of his opinions and perceptions, I commend his tenacity to show up and to be part of the conversation.

The mission of the Fallbrook Regional Health District is to assist residents to lead healthy lives, supporting a greater life span and independence. The Board of Directors and I hope that anyone who is interested in learning more about the District’s efforts to serve our mission will connect with us.

Come by the office, the Community Health and Wellness Center, visit our website, come to a board meeting and or plan to attend the Community Forum. You can conveniently find out about everything we are doing on our website:

Rachel Mason, CEO

Fallbrook Regional Health District


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