Dr. Dominic Dizon and wife Nhuha Dizon prepare to break ground Tuesday on a new clinic facility in North Fresno. Photo by Breanna Hardy
Written by Gabriel Dillard
Dr. Dominic Dizon and Sante Health Systems broke ground Tuesday on a new medical facility in north Fresno that aims to recruit and keep physicians in the Central Valley.
2066 E. Copper Ave. will be home to Dizon Medicine’s four new clinics — a primary care pediatrics clinic with pediatric urgent care, an internal medicine clinic and an urgent care plus.
Dizon Medicine has an existing internal medicine and urgent care center near Maple and Herndon avenues.
“This is such big news for us. We know that we need to recruit and retain young doctors in this area. To have a place for one-stop shopping is going to be absolutely incredible,” said Kelly Lilles, spokesperson for Sante Health System.
John Reed is the general contractor for the 5,400-square-foot project.
Lilles said that Sante Foundation Medical Group has more than 1 million patient visits per year, and Community Medical Providers is the largest primary care group in the Valley. Dizon is a client of Community Medical Providers, which is also a part of Sante Foundation Medical Group.
“We want to keep them and we want to continue to grow and to bring in those specialists as well,” Lilles said.
The additional urgent care and pediatrics-specific clinics will be a much-needed addition to the community after Covid-19 crowded emergency rooms. Often emergency departments fill up with patients that could better be treated at an urgent care for much less money.
Dizon estimates that 75% of emergency room visits could have been solved at urgent cares, lessening the wait times for true emergencies like stroke, heart attacks, respiratory distress or extreme blood loss.
“You can offload the ER visits that really need the ER,” Dizon said.
Adding a pediatric urgent care is a new, much-needed option in Fresno, he said.
“There are special needs for an urgent care for a pediatric patient,” Dizon said, adding that regular urgent cares might not be attuned to pediatric-specific needs.
He chose the location based on potential for growth in the surrounding area, and the need for medical facilities. The area has recently welcomed a new Starbucks, and has plans for a new location of Mad Duck and a retail center later this year.
“You’ve got shopping here, so it’s going to help everything,” Lilles said.
Dizon had been teaching the next generation of doctors in the Central Valley at UCSF Fresno. The goal of the teaching program is to retain up and coming physicians, nearly 40% of which stay local.
“If you break down our state into six different regions, the Central Valley has one of the lowest ratios of physicians to population, primary care physicians to population and specialists to population,” Dizon said.
He seeks to train young physicians and nurse practitioners at the new facility, which is planned for completion in spring 2023.
He has since retired from teaching at UCSF Fresno, but teaches via his own practice..
“Little did I know now, not only am I teaching them to stay here, I will actually be able to employ them,” he said.
Dizon says he is able to spend a lot of time with his family, be involved in his kids’ high school boards and be engaged with his church. He says that people who come to work at his clinics also have the freedom to have a healthy work-life balance — one of the incentives that motivates physicians and nurse practitioners.
There’s also an opportunity for community service and to be paid the same or better than those who practice in Southern California or the Central Coast, he said. Many of the people Dizon teaches have gone to high school in the Valley, and a sense of community is important to keep as they study medicine and eventually practice medicine.