What is a Jornada?


No Child is Turned Away! Our P.A.P.I. ProgramPAPI

Approximately 40% of the patients who come to Hospital Infantil de las Californias are economically challenged, meaning they can afford to pay only a portion of their medical expenses.  Of that percentage, approximately 10% cannot afford to pay anything at all.  The hospital established the P.A.P.I. Program (Programa de Apoyo a Pacientes Indigentes) to assist with these medical expenses and insure that any child, regardless of their ability to pay, will receive the surgeries and care they need.


The complete, average cost of comprehensive surgery at Hospital Infantil is $750.00, an incredibly low figure when you compare surgery costs at other hospitals in San Diego and Tijuana. A standard pediatric consultation costs $16.00 at the hospital; a specialty consultation costs $20.00. Read More

Special CasesSpecial

Special Case Marco Urbalejo


11 year old Marco Antonio Urbalejo needs a $1,200 surgery to 
reconstruct a perforated tympanic membrane (eardrum) that will not heal correctly. He has increased risk because the opening in the membrane allows bacteria to enter the middle ear causing infections and hearing issues.

Special Case girl 1

Special Case girl 2






Betzaida Cancino Romero (9 yrs old) and Yesenia Suarez Hernandez (13 yrs old) suffer from hypertelorism, a physical condition in which the orbits of the eyes are separated by an abnormal distance. This rare syndrome has anomalies in periocular structures but not in the eye itself. In early development in the womb the eyes are placed laterally in the primitive face in a fashion similar to that of lower animals with panoramic vision. As gestation progresses, they migrate toward the midline, creating favorable conditions for the development of stereoscopic vision. Hypertelorism is an increased inter-orbital distance and this can be either an isolated finding or associated with many clinical syndromes or malformations.  


Hypertelorism per se results only in cosmetic problems and possible impairment of stereoscopic binocular vision. For cases like these, a number of operative procedures, such as canthoplasty, orbitoplasty, surgical positioning of the eyebrows are proposed. Their median cleft face syndrome is associated with normal intelligence and life span. The severity of the cosmetic disturbance should not be underestimated; we hope to offer these young girls a normal appearance and a hopeful outlook on life.  

Their surgeries will be performed by our own Dr. Alicia Sigler (along with her team) and are two of the more extensive and costly procedures that we see, costing approximately $50,000 combined for both girls and will include two days of post surgery intensive care at the over-night general hospital, downtown Tijuana. 




Do you know what a Jornada is? See story in this issue.
July 2013
Message from the Executive Director Eileen Benjamin
Collaboration for the Kids-A Letter from the Executive Director


Collaboration is the Hospital Infantil de las Californias' key to success.  Our progress can be summed up perfectly by the simple and succinct Eileen quote from Helen Keller who said, "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."  From the inside out, our facility is kept alive and thriving by hundreds of volunteer medical doctors and support staff that unite to run a  cost efficient medical facility offering thousands of children each month low cost or free medical care, as well as education outreach to the entire region. 


This effort allows good people to collectively attain incredible results for the largest cross border region in the world.  Their common driving passion-no child in need of care will be turned away, regardless of the ability to pay or which side of a border they travel from.


The effort spans beyond individuals, across international boundaries and throughout a continent.  Three countries, the USA, Mexico & Canada, each with respective foundations and volunteers, join forces to give children better health and hope.   


Our most recent tour to the facility included visitors and dignitaries from the three supporting countries.  We were honored to have General Consul Andrew Erickson, from the USA to Mexico, Consul Lisa Stockley, from Consul Canada to the USA, and Consul Alberto Diaz, representing Mexico to the USA, with us as an endorsement of the project, along with the First Lady of Tijuana, Carolina Bustamante. 



Our founders, Dr. Elizabeth Jones and Dr. Pedro Gabriel Chong King, graciously escorted our 30 guests through the consultation complex, surgical center, rehab and education rooms in a hospital that is emerging as the compassionate leader in pediatric healthcare in our unique "borderless" region.  Dr. Jones and Dr. Chong served as the humble tour guides (who had the vision to create the facility), and we can all now see a little further when we are elevated by these two goliaths of goodwill!


It is hard not to leave the tour with an open heart to help the children.  Every visit to the hospital tugs most visitors to the core.  We were introduced to two cases of young girls who suffer from Hypertelorism, causing a tragic deformation of their faces.  You can find out more about them, and how you can help, in our special case section of this newsletter. 


We Dental take great pride in sharing our facility and the good work accomplished there with our friends and supporters.  There is no better affirmation than your interest in what we do, how we do it--and the opportunity to show you our progress in person.  Our next tour is scheduled for Wednesday, October 2nd.  If you haven't had a recent visit, then it is not to be missed.  Nothing would give us more joy than if you signed up today to join us!

For the children,


Eileen Benjamin

Executive Director
What is a Jornada?Jornada
This is a great question because they are valuable and amazing events! At the Hospital Infantil de las Californias, Jornadas are often cleft palate surgical marathons in which many children suffering from cleft palate deformations are provided surgeries over one weekend.  
Often a half dozen children or more can be treated with a life changing surgery by an exemplary team of surgeons and support staff. 
Jornadas also serve as telemedicine conferences which provide a valuable educational experience for medical students, doctors, nurses and others to attend and receive credit for the medical information provided. The surgeries are teleconferenced using high definition telecommunication equipment to viewers at the UCSD Telemedicine Center.  They learn about the amazing work at the Hospital Infantil de las Californias along with good surgical training.  They also help to inspire a humanitarian spirit in addition to the obvious, which is transforming lives of children!
We thank long time supporters Dr. Amanda Gosman and Dr. Alicia Sigler for organizing and leading our surgical Jornadas.    
Here's a video if you want a short peek at what an amazing jornada can do!
Special Video: Lead San Diego Awards FCC Founder.  
Congratulations to Dr. Elizabeth JonesLEAD
2013 Visionary Awards: Dr. Elizabeth 'Betty' Jones (93)
2013 Visionary Awards: Dr. Elizabeth 'Betty' Jones (93)
Proof is in the Progress!  See our Current StatsStats

Take a Tour With Us!Tour


Save the Date for the "Hope for Health Tour" on October 2, 2013


Details coming soon at  See a video of our previous tour here.


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