LaSalle Medical Associates celebrates 29 years of service with 160,000 patients
(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) In June 1984 Dr. Albert Arteaga and Maria his wife, a nurse started their medical practice not just to heal the sick and injured, but to change patients’ perception of “going to the doctor.”
Dr. Arteaga explains, “I want everyone to feel that going to the doctor is no more intimidating than going to the grocery store.”
The Arteaga’s also built their practice on the belief that “everyone deserves high quality health care”. Everyone also deserves to be treated by their doctor with “dignity and respect regardless of ethnicity or income”.
That philosophy has been successful. On the first day of his practice Dr. Albert Arteaga and Maria saw two patients at their clinic at 17577 Arrow Boulevard in Fontana. Now LaSalle Medical Associates cares for 160,000 patients across nine counties in California.
Success came quickly as word spread of caring doctors that also accepted Medi-Cal and affordable cash payments.
By 1992 the Fontana location grew and LaSalle had added clinics at 16455 Main Street in Hesperia, two in San Bernardino at 1505 West 17th Street, and 565 N. Mount Vernon Avenue.
To run the growing business the Arteaga’s opened a corporate office in San Bernardino at 685 Carnegie Drive, Suite 230.
The Arteaga’s started an Independent Practice Association or IPA in 1995 in response to changes in health care created by government and insurance companies. The insurance companies prefer to negotiate for health care services and compensation with groups of physicians rather than individual doctors.
LaSalle Medical Associates accepted the challenge and has grown to a network of 1,900 independently contracted doctors, hospitals and clinics, delivering high quality patient care. Now LaSalle Medical Associates is one of the largest independent minority owned healthcare companies in California.
LaSalle has a team of 120 healthcare professionals at LaSalle’s four clinics in San Bernardino County. Through its IPA 1,900 independently contracted doctors, hospitals and clinics, deliver high quality patient care in Riverside, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Stanislaus, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, San Joaquin and Madera counties.
“I think 29 years shows we have been doing good things for our patients and employees and we have been doing it for a long time,” Dr. Arteaga said. He added, “It proves two things. Number One, we are honest. Number two we are reliable. We aren’t here today and gone tomorrow. In the medical field, being solid means being reputable and reliable.”
In 29 years of business the Arteaga’s have seen good times and bad, recession and boom, and several business challenges. Through it all Dr. Arteaga has strived not only to be a great physician, but also a good businessman.
“Treating patients with dignity and respect is not only the right thing to do, it is also a good business practice, it has built us a solid, loyal patient base,” said Dr. Arteaga.
Those patents in turn recommended LaSalle Medical Associates to their friends and family. Some of who now have chosen LaSalle for their health care needs for three generations.
“It’s not usual for us to see the second generation of children we started treated 29 years ago,” said Maria Arteaga. “We are honored to be trusted with the lives of our patients and their children.”
The Arteaga’s have also focused on keeping expenses low and service quality high. And they have helped many patients who might otherwise struggle to pay for even basic medical care to find insurance that will pay the bill.
Since Dr. Arteaga’s specialty is pediatrics, La Salle Medical Associates initially focused on serving children of the lower income and disabled. Dr. Arteaga quickly realized there were even greater community needs.
With his guidance, LaSalle expanded its service to include family and internal medicine, and obstetrics/gynecology. All stemming from the Arteaga’s “obligation” to “help whenever we can.”
Public and professional recognition has not escaped LaSalle Medical Associates and The Arteaga’s.
In 2012 Dr. Albert Arteaga, became California’s first-ever CDC Childhood Immunization Champion and one of only 39 across the country receiving the prestigious honor.
The California Medical Association awarded him the “Ethnic Physician’s Leadership Award,” recognizing his contributions to medical care in the Latino community. He also was named one of the top 15 Latino-owned businesses in the Inland Empire by Hispanic Lifestyle magazine.
Dr. Arteaga was awarded the San Bernardino County Medical Society’s Merlin Hendrickson M.D. Award for his outstanding contribution to the community.
Inland Empire Health Plan selected LaSalle’s clinics as Riverside and San Bernardino counties’ best healthcare provider, while the African American Health Initiative selected LaSalle as a “model provider” of Black healthcare in San Bernardino County.
The San Bernardino Board of Supervisors has presented Dr. Arteaga a Resolution for his outstanding community efforts, and the Inland Empire Health Plan awarded LaSalle Medical Associates a Proclamation Award in appreciation of outstanding community work and for being the state’s number one enroller of the Healthy Families program, an insurance plan for children of low-to middle-income families.
What does the future hold?
“As a large provider of service to Medi-Cal patients we understand what the state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medi-Cal means here in California. A lot of uninsured people with a high demand for service are going to be coming to doctors, clinics and hospitals in 2014. LaSalle is preparing to welcome those one million new low income patients in the nine counties we serve,” said Dr. Arteaga.
He added, “We are recruiting more health care professionals to increase our ability to provide more health care to more patients at the rate Medi-Cal pays”.
LaSalle has also created new partnerships to fund expansion and is contracting with more cost effective service providers with larger service areas for lab work, x-rays, imaging and supplies, and expanded their billing and payment capabilities.
For the Arteaga’s success is defined by service to those in need of medical services. By any measure LaSalle Medical Associates patient growth is a testimony to their service to their communities. Not bad for a couple of idealist who wanted not just to heal the sick and injured, but to change patients’ perception of “going to the doctor.”
LaSalle Medical Associates Clinics are located at:
About LaSalle Medical Associates
LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc., operates four clinics employing more than 120 dedicated healthcare professionals, treating children, adults, and seniors in San Bernardino County. LaSalle’s patients are primarily served by Medi-Cal and they also accept Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Molina, Care 1st, Health Net and Inland Empire Health Plan (IEHP). LaSalle’s clinics are at 17577 Arrow Blvd. in Fontana, 16455 Main St. in Hesperia and 1505 West 17th St. and 565 N. Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino.
LaSalle Medical Associates, Inc., is also an Independent Practice Association (IPA) of independently contracted doctors, hospitals and clinics, delivering high quality care to more than 245,000 patients in Fresno, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Joaquin and Tulare Counties.
LaSalle’s IPA members in the Inland Empire include: LaSalle Medical Associates, Arrowhead Orthopedics, Arther Medical Group, Rancho Medical Group, Rancho Paseo Medical Group, Alessandro Medical Group Banning Medical Group, and San Bernardino Urological Associates. Hospital affiliations include: Rancho Springs Medical Center, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Community Hospital of San Bernardino, St. Bernadine Medical Center, Mountains Community Hospital, Redland Community Hospital, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Corona Regional Medical Center, Riverside County Medical Center, Parkview Community Hospital.