February 2015


Sweet Valentine's Gift

This Valentine's Day, express your care to a loved one, friend or associate by donating a $15 medical visit for a needy child, in their honor.


Give a tribute Valentine of love & hope!



Join Us For A Special Tour!Tour

February 11, 2015


We are chartering a bus and will have pick-up locations in North County and SouthBay.  Lunch is included in this � day expedition.  There is no cost to attend this event. Space is limited to 40 guests as first registered. Your RSVP and passport are required to participate.


Providing Health & Hope to Orphaned ChildrenOrphans

What happens when a teenaged young adult leaves an orphanage?  What life skills are they taught to prepare them for independence in the real world?  How can we share our knowledge and expertise to fill these gaps for parentless adolescents?
At the Hospital Infantil, we answer these questions and  endeavor to reach each of the 60+ registered orphanages in Baja California.  Of the many humanitarian programs offered at the hospital, perhaps none is more heartwarming then the Leadership in Adolescent Health for Orphans.

The objective is to provide education and training in basic health and self esteem promotion as well as insight into future career opportunities for teenagers of each orphanage.  The older orphans are then taught and encouraged to disseminate the learned information to their younger orphan "siblings."

The six week program consists of six four-hour lessons each Saturday from November to December where they are learn about nutrition, dental health, certification in first aid (including CPR), sex education and hygiene, child development, physical fitness, psychology, leadership and most important of all, their own self esteem and emotional well-being.  The kids listen to business owners, educators and professionals in many fields talk about their paths to success.  A few presenters are former orphans themselves.  

During the course of the program, material pertaining to each training session is distributed to participants to bring back to their orphanages.  These new "leader" orphans teach the younger ones what they have learned and enjoy sharing knowledge and bringing back the goodies.  These include large wall hanging canvases depicting the "Apple of Health" nutrition guide (to be hung in dining rooms), first-aid kits, "Health Passports" (a mini health record and ID), "Good Nutrition for your Baby" book,  jump ropes for each child in the orphanage (and exercises to go with), homemade quilt blankets, and donated toys for all.  

While the total program costs in excess of $10,000 a year, contributions of expertise, gifts and products bring the cost to approximately $2,000 (excluding the coordinator's salary).   The total reach of the program since inception is 1,600 adolescents in Tijuana.  The emotional impact achieved is immeasurable.


Services To DateStats


Consultations: 416,000

Surgeries: 10,900

Volunteer Hours: 372,000

Education Hours: 282,500


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Message from the new chairman of the Board: Frank HobbsFrank

Just a few years ago I first visited the Hospital Infantil de las Californias in Tijuana.  I left with a stirring and lasting imprint of needs and hopes of children, living nearby, in immediate want of health care and proper nutrition.  I left impressed by good work done, and being provided by dedicated and volunteer physicians and staff.  I also left with an enhanced sense of possibility of transformative changes in young lives from medical interventions and from education about healthy nutritional choices.


It is an extraordinary story.  The Hospital Infantil emerged out of the vision and passion of its founders, Drs. Betty Jones and Gabriel Chong King, just over twenty years ago.  Their selfless, tireless leadership and the support of a tri-national coalition of volunteers and donors from Mexico, Canada and the United States, created and sustained a clinical program, surgical capability and a nutrition education program, and finally raised funds and built a pediatric surgical hospital which provides state of the art care to children on both sides of the border, regardless of their families' ability to pay.


Paradoxically, serving medical needs reveals new and greater need both in number of patients and specialization required to treat the young patients.  While in the U.S. we almost take for granted the cure or management of many deadly and disabling childhood diseases, many such treatments were simply not available, even if affordable, for many children in the region.  And, in the border region, there are legions of children for whom treatment simply cannot be afforded by their families.  Our Foundation and the Hospital Infantil exist to, as best we can, serve these young people, regardless of their means.  The need seems boundless.


In addition to continuing to provide financial support for medical services to needful children, we also support new initiatives; this year and last helping equip a surgical theater with ophthalmological equipment to save young peoples' vision.  This year we help begin a "tele-medicine" program to bring new forms of treatment and medical education to Tijuana and remote areas in Mexico.


My wife, Victoria and I were blessed to be able to meet all of the medical needs of our now grown four children.  We believe that no family should suffer loss because of the remoteness or cost of care for a child.  I am thankful, as the incoming Chair of the Board of the Foundation for the Children of the Californias to have a part in fulfilling unmet need.  Contact us; see the effort of the fine staff and volunteers at the Hospital Infantil; and become a part of our Foundation's work for the children.

Frank Hobbs
Chairman of the Board of Directors


Just in Time for Naomi! Naomi

It was fortunate for four year old Naomi to be with her infant baby sister and mom during a nutrition counseling session with hospital co-founder and pediatric specialist, Dr. Betty Jones.  Dr. Jones  noticed that little Naomi had  strabismus (more commonly known as cross-eyed). This is a vision condition in which a person can not align both eyes simultaneously under normal conditions. One or both of the eyes may turn in, out, up or down.  It impairs vision and often the self esteem of a child who grows up looking different than her peers.

It is estimated that up to 5 percent of all children have some type or degree of strabismus. Children with strabismus may initially have double vision. This occurs because of the misalignment of the two eyes in relation to one another. In an attempt to avoid double vision, the brain will eventually disregard the image of one eye.  The key is to correct the disorder at an early age as it is difficult to reprogram the brain.  Treatment under age 6 (and especially before age 2) is ideal and will allow for better results than later treatment.
Betty knew that Naomi needed help soon.  Naomi's mother was told that special eyeglasses would significantly correct the strabismus if obtained as soon as possible.  However the cost for the glasses was $2300 pesos and more than the mother could afford.  Naomi's eyeglass prescription remained tucked away in mom's handbag.   

Dr. Betty Jones with Jim Osterman.
Betty, acted fast.  She reached out to a long time friend of the hospital, Jim Osterman.  Jim is the manager of Optical Services of Sharp Rees Stealy Medical Group.  He comes to the hospital annually to provide free vision consultations and glasses to our patients.  He filled the prescription and provided the glasses without reimbursement, except the joy he received from a grateful little girl with pretty brown eyes.

In 2014, the Hospital Infantil provided 93 surgeries for kids with strabismus. Happily, little Naomi is not expected to need surgical correction.  We wish we could find them all early!  Our hats off to Betty and Jim for being on the look out for kids in need!


San Diego Heats Up For The Salsa Ride at Otay MesaSalsa

Hundreds of cyclists will descend on south San Diego on Sunday, June 14th for the "Salsa Ride," organized by the Foundation for the Children of the Californias on behalf of the Hospital Infantil de las Californias.  Funds raised at the event will be used to purchase ophthalmology surgical equipment so that surgeons at the hospital can help children avoid blindness and vision disorders.   No child is turned away for inability to pay and the facility serves kids from both sides of the San Diego and Baja California "mega-region."The cycling event is in partnership with the "Raul Alcala Challenge" and the champion celebrity bicyclist will be participating every mile of the way.  Grand Marshall and cycling enthusiast Andrew Erickson (US Consul General serving in Tijuana), Remedios Gomez Arnau (Mexico Consul General serving San Diego), and Lisa Stockley (Canadian Consul serving in San Diego) will be riding or cheering in support of participants.


The Salsa Ride offers businesses and civic leaders an opportunity to demonstrate their support of an event that highlights the good-will and picturesque beauty of south San Diego.  There will be ample media on hand to share the festivities with the broader community.



FORM A TEAM OF 5 ASSOCIATES OR FRIENDS AND SAVE 20% OFF EACH TEAM MEMBER ENTRY FEES.  (Volunteers are needed to help at aide stations and fiesta site).


Rider Entry Donation is $60 for Metric Century and $40 for Half Metric Century.  Included are award finisher medals, t-shirt, SAG vehicle support, course refreshments, gift bag and fiesta with Mexican food, beer garden, entertainment, raffle and of course, SALSA!