American Indian

Doubling its capacity to serve.

Since 1979, the San Diego American Indian Health Center (SDAIHC) has provided high quality, comprehensive, compassionate primary, dental and behavioral health care to the people in its community. The organization has earned trust and loyalty by serving these communities with respect, dignity and cultural sensitivity as a medical home and safety net for essential health care and social services. It is a key resource for more than 20,000 low-income community members and American Indians who receive health care services at its downtown San Diego facility.

“As a private, non-profit 501(c) (3) Federally Qualified Health Center operating in San Diego,” said Joe Bulfer, CEO of SDAIHC, “we are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of our community’s traditionally underserved and culturally diverse people, with special emphasis on San Diego’s urban American Indian population.”

In January 2018, the Health Center will launch a capital campaign to raise an estimated $11 million to double its capacity. In preparation, the organization has purchased its existing two buildings and an adjacent property and announced a ribbon cutting on February 9, 2018, keynoted by Todd Gloria, who represents the 78th Assembly District. “Our development plan,” Bulfer shares with Giving Back Magazine, “is to completely renovate our existing facility, and add capacity with the building next door. This will empower us to offer medical, behavioral, and dental health services to a larger population of low income families in need. We encourage the community to contact us regarding sponsorship packages, including naming opportunities.”

As a key resource for medical services, SDAIHC provides primary care and chronic care management and treatment, while emphasizing prevention and proper health maintenance through education. Their behavioral health services include outpatient therapy for individuals, couples, families and groups. The team, which includes a psychiatrist, licensed clinical social workers, and a substance abuse counselor, integrate Western psychotherapies with traditional Native American healing practices. Traditional healers are also available, if a client requests this support. SDAIHC’s dental health program strives to optimize patients’ oral health through education, prevention, and treatment. Comprehensive care for all age groups is available.

SDAIHC also has a Youth Center whose mission is to guide Native American and other community youth towards their full potential as healthy, well-rounded young adults through the use of cultural, traditional and non-Western modes of healing and education. The program welcomes young people ages 10 to 24 of any background, allowing youth to stay physically and mentally active while exploring their creativity and Native American heritage in a positive, inclusive and safe environment where youth can develop a healthy self-identity. Youth can access health care services on site such as medical, dental, HIV testing, and referral to counseling services. There are also structured activities each day, which include health and wellness groups and culture classes.

The organization has special programs that emphasize cultural awareness, health care education and academic enrichment, and other outreach programs that include a Pow Wow in Balboa Park, which celebrates the American Indian heritage. SDAIHC has been honored to be one of the key sponsors of this event for the past five years.

Bulfer noted, “Our commitment to the community we service always centers on the wellness of mind, body and spirit. We are honored to serve and excited by the opportunity to expand our capacity to deliver high quality healthcare to the people in our community.”

For additional information of the San Diego American Indian Health Center, please visit To learn more about supporting the organization’s Capital Campaign, please call (619) 234-2158.

Joe Bulfer  Right  At The Pow Wow In Balboa Park Along With Assemblyman Todd Gloria And Paula Brim 20243 300 600 80 Joe Bulfer right at the Pow Wow in Balboa Park along with Assemblyman Todd Gloria and Paula Brim
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