Chula Vista resident Preston Choctaw doesn’t just work with the region’s low-income seniors; He treats them like family.
Choctaw, who has worked in health care for 15 years, was recently named the new director of St. Paul’s Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) in El Cajon. PACE is a medical program for low-income seniors with chronic medical conditions that cares for seniors so that they can remain living in their homes longer. The program offers primary medical care, rehabilitation therapies, social services, home care, transportation, and more.
Choctaw said he joined the nonprofit for several reasons, one being his desire to care for the senior population.
“When I think of this population, I think of my own family; my parents, uncles, aunts,” said Choctaw, who has master degrees from San Diego State University in public health and social work. “I want to make sure that our participants are treated the same way I would treat my family. We take care of them, look after them, and make sure that they are healthy, supported, and living their best lives.”
The father of three said he made his way to St. Paul’s after working in health care insurance for years.
“I always felt a disconnect between the insurance side and the provider side since both sides would often be at odds as what was best for the member (patient),” Choctaw said. “However, St. Paul’s PACE is such a unique program that it seamlessly blends those two sides together in which the health and well-being of the participant is always the top priority.”
In his new role, Choctaw will be responsible for the overall management of the center to ensure seniors receive the quality of care and services they need. His immediate goal is to serve as many seniors as possible.
“Especially now, when the COVID-19 pandemic impacts our lives so much, our already vulnerable senior population is even more vulnerable,” he said. “I truly believe in the mission of St. Paul’s PACE. We want to make sure that our seniors are provided with a caring network of services that fosters independence, preserves individual dignity, and enables frail seniors to remain at home, involved with their family, friends, and community.”
For more information about St. Paul’s PACE, go to stpaulspace.org.
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