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Tour Our Facilities - San Diego

The Division of Immigration Health Services (DIHS) presents its medical facility in San Diego, California! Located only miles from the Mexican border, and minutes away from beautiful San Diego and Mission Bay to fulfill the challenging mission of providing all medical services to a facility population of approximately 1,200 ICE detainees.

The clinic opened its doors on June 1st, 2002. Since that time it has developed into one of the largest medical facilities within the DIHS.

The Division's highly trained medical staff provide a variety of ambulatory medical services including: 

Medical Screening: Since detainees are often newly arrived from countries all over the world, screening for infectious disease is particularly important.

Clinical staff screens approximately 50 new individuals every 24-hours. The new tele-radiology system enables us to screen every new detainee on a "stat" basis for tuberculosis to ensure that infected persons are not introduced into the population. Medical screening is also crucial in identifying any psychiatric or psychological risk factors that may warrant referral to the on-site psychiatrist.

Physical Exams: Detainees receive physical exams within the first 14 days we often exceed the standard of 14 days, on average conducting physicals on the third day. DIHS providers complete an average of 30-40 physical exams each day. Detainees have daily access to medical services.

Access to Care: The staff of Mid-Level Providers (Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants) and Registered Nurses perform sick call seven days a week. Sick Call addresses acute and minor medical needs, and initiates a referral process to the ambulatory care clinic as warranted by the patient's presentation or history.

Ambulatory Care: Patients are seen Monday through Friday on an appointment-only basis. Appointments in the clinic include those whose presentation at Sick Call warrants a more thorough work-up, including lab work, minor procedures, ECGs, or consultation with the Clinical Director. Mid-Level Providers most often see ambulatory care patients.

Chronic Care: Patients are also seen Monday through Friday on an appointment-only basis. Chronic Care patients are seen by the Clinical Director, mid-level providers or referred to a specialist and may present with chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension, infectious disease, and pulmonary disease, among others.

Dental Clinic: The Dentist and Dental Assistant provide dental services on-site to our detainee population. The Dental Clinic is open five days a week, and provides multiple dental services.

Pharmacy: The Pharmacist and Pharmacy Technician maintains the formulary, prime vendor contract and the pharmacy inventory.

Mental Health Clinic: The on-site psychiatrist provides mental health services to our entire detainee population, with particular focus on referral patients housed in our Psychiatric Ward.

Psychiatric Ward: The psychiatric ward is an eight-bed facility manned around-the-clock by nursing staff and psychiatric technicians. Our on-site psychiatrist oversees the medical care for these patients, many of whom are often referred from other sites within the DIHS.

Short Stay Unit: The SSU is a 16-bed facility which includes six negative-pressure isolation rooms to house patients with the potential for active tuberculosis. There is an eight bed infirmary where skilled nursing and medical/surgical recovery care is provided on a 24-hour, seven day a week basis. 

Our Staff

We are proud of our dynamic, well-trained and enthusiastic medical staff! As a medical facility, we believe we have succeeded as a professional team in developing a positive synergy and esprit de corps which makes San Diego such a wonderful place to work. Our staff is comprised of U.S. Public Health Service Officers, Civilians, and non-federal staff. Our medical staff includes the Clinical Director, Dentist, Dental Technician, Pharmacist, Pharmacist Technician, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Registered Nurses, and Licensed Practical Nurses. Our administrative staff includes the Health Services Administrator, Asst. Health Services Administrator, Administrative Assistant, and Medical Records Technicians.

Our workplace is professional, organized, and positive! We provide ourselves with a defined time and place to discuss and improve upon our organization by holding weekly staff meetings. Subjects include important organizational areas such as in-service training, continuing medical education, performance improvement, and general staff discussions. 


Come find out why so many of us call San Diego "the most perfect place to live in the US!" San Diego boasts over 70 miles of beaches. Coronado beach is connected to the city with its beautifully curved bridge. Ocean Beach, Mission Beach and Encinitas are especially popular among the surfers. The upscale resort of La Jolla is only minutes away from our location.

Downtown San Diego offers many fun places to visit including picturesque Seaport Village and the now-trendy Gas Lamp District, which features Horton Plaza, live theatres, cinema, and dozens of restaurants. Grab a bite to eat and dance the night away at the Gas Lamp District! During the summer season, enjoy outdoor concerts every weekend on the bay!

Other fun destinations in-and-around San Diego include Mission Bay with its adjacent Sea World Adventure Park; Balboa Park, home to several museums and the world-famous San Diego Zoo; San Diego Wild Animal Park; Legoland California, a great destination for families with young children; and nearby Tijuana, Mexico, accessible from the Red-Line light rail system.

San Diego also offers the ideal climate for sports enthusiasts. It is consistently ranked among the top-50 golf destinations in the world. The pleasant year-round climate is ideal for all sports: from surfing to soccer, and tennis to mountain biking. Or take in a game with the San Diego Padres and Chargers!

With a cohesive and professional staff, a challenging mission, and a perfect area to live, what more could you ask for? Come join us at the INS Medical Facility San Diego!


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