Seton Medical Center Coastside: Providing medical care close to home
by Cheryl Sinclair and Mary E. Knippel
If you live on the coast, why drive over the hill? Seton Medical Center Coastside’s outpatient services are close to home — so you don’t have to travel far for quality healthcare. Nestled up in the hills of Moss Beach, Seton Coastside is the only emergency department on the coast between Daly City and Santa Cruz. The facility also offers three outpatient clinics that provide physical, occupational and speech therapies, a clinical laboratory, a radiology department, and a 116-bed skilled nursing facility for elderly and chronically ill patients.
Seton Coastside is part of the regional Daughters of Charity Health System that has provided medical services to California communities for over 150 years. The Daughters of Charity’s mission is to serve the sick and the underserved. Seton Coastside’s dedicated dedicated staff of health professionals embodies the Daughters of Charity’s belief that caring is powerful medicine.
“This is a special spot in the hospital,” said Kate O’Shea, Seton Coastside’s physical therapy supervisor, as we stood in the occupational therapy wing of the hospital, “because we have community outpatients and we have residents who come in here to work out together. It’s a place where community and residents meet. In fact, many outpatients become volunteers because they see the work that is being done and ask if they can help.”
Stephen W. Leonard is an occupational therapist at Seton Coastside who volunteered and decided to become a professional. Leonard was a business major in college when a family member had a stroke; the situation introduced him to rehab medicine, which started him on a new career path. “I wanted to make a difference with my life,” Leonard said. “I like being able to wear different hats: working with the outpatients, working the residents (such as local fisherman Jim Jensen who is recovering from a stroke at Seton Coastside), and working out in the community.”
Patients who have had hand surgery, or a stroke that has affected the use of their hands, can seek assistance from Donna Croix, who is on the staff at Seton Coastside and specializes in hand therapy. Coastsiders may also get speech therapy from Seton Coastside’s Ruth M. Horsfall, a speech pathologist.
The clinical laboratory at Seton Coastside is open six days a week and on call after hours for emergency department use. The experienced clinical lab scientists can perform all of the most common blood tests and coordinate more specialized testing. Andy Baldomero, lab coordinator, and Debby Negri, lead clinical lab scientist, are well known on the coast for the “painless” service they provide.
When Devil’s Slide went out in 2006, a number of patients who live in Pacifica drove all the way around to Highway 92 to reach Seton Coastside and get their routine blood tests. There is a local family who wanted their child to come to Seton Coastside for blood work during his chemotherapy, because he was very comfortable with Baldomero and Negri.
Seton Coastside also provides many health programs and services aimed at creating a healthier community, such as the RotaCare Clinics — providing urgent care to those without health insurance — and the annual free Teddy Bear Clinic where, each year, over 250 local children get acquainted with the emergency department when they bring their ailing stuffed animals to the hospital.
The same level of trustworthy service can be found in Seton Coastside’s board-certified radiology department, open Monday through Friday, and on call for emergency services. Whether you need an X-ray or a screening mammogram, the radiology technologists are ready to serve you. Sue Desoto, the radiology supervisor sometimes referred to as the Mammogram Lady, has worked in the department for about 20 years and is known by many local residents.
When you need an X-ray, lab test, or rehabilitation therapy — physical, occupational or speech therapy — there’s no need to travel outside the Coastside area to get it. Instead, you can make the short trip to Seton Coastside, where service is convenient, compassionate and of the highest quality.
If you don’t have a primary physician, you can call Seton Coastside’s physician referral number at 800-436-2404 to locate one. Contact the rehabilitation specialists at 650-563-7131; the lab at 650-563-7125; radiology at 650-563-7151.
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Cheryl Sinclair is the manager of community outreach and business development at Seton Coastside.