The Coast News Group
Tri-City MEdical Center was honored by the Oceanside City Council for its community service efforts.
Tri-City staff hosted vaccine clinics at the Boys & Girls Club of Oceanside. Recently, Oceanside Mayor Esther Sanchez honored the health care provider for its community service. Photo via Facebook/Tri-City Medical Center

Oceanside spotlights Tri-City’s 60 years of community service

OCEANSIDE — The Oceanside City Council and Chamber of Commerce both recognized Tri-City Medical Center for its 60 years of community service during a Jan. 12 council meeting.

Every few months, the mayor and chamber partner together to spotlight a business in the community. Tri-City Medical Center, which celebrated its 60th birthday last year, is the first local business to be recognized by the city in the new year.

According to Chamber CEO Scott Ashton, all three of the Oceanside, Vista and Carlsbad chambers were instrumental in forming the Tri-City Healthcare District.

“Tri-City is tremendously supportive of the Chamber’s initiatives and events,” Ashton said at the meeting.

Tri-City recently launched its Student Opportunities for Career Awareness and Learning (SOCAL) initiative, a joint effort with the San Diego North Economic Development Council, Carlsbad, Oceanside and Vista chambers of commerce, and MiraCosta and Palomar colleges.

Dr. Gene Ma, an emergency room physician at Tri-City Medical Center, stands next to Larry Hull, an Oceanside resident whose life was saved thanks to Tri-City’s Stroke Care Center team.
Dr. Gene Ma, left, a Tri-City Medical Center, stands next to Oceanside resident Larry Hull, who received life-saving care at the hospital. Ma was recognized by the City of Oceanside for his work during the pandemic. Photo by Samantha Taylor

The SOCAL initiative falls under Tri-City’s broader COASTAL Commitment community outreach effort. Tri-City has partnered with over 60 different community organizations and agencies as part of this commitment.

SOCAL is an online platform meant to help students and job seekers find professional opportunities and pathways to careers. Many of the jobs highlighted are middle-wage jobs in fields like healthcare, manufacturing, communication technology, construction and software that require less than a four-year college degree.

Aaron Byzak, chief external affairs officer at Tri-City, said the health care provider’s new website ( will include job listings for positions at the hospital as well as within the Oceanside fire and police departments.

In addition to the workforce initiative, Tri-City is also working with the county to provide a psychiatric facility on its Oceanside campus.

Mayor Esther Sanchez also recognized Dr. Gene Ma, the hospital’s chief medical officer and longtime emergency room physician, for his efforts to make COVID-19 testing and vaccines more available to the community.

“During that really horrific time with COVID, there were several people who really became leaders in the community to get testing and vaccines out there,” Sanchez said. “Dr. Ma was one of them.”

Ma assisted in setting up the COVID-19 testing and vaccine center at California State University San Marcos. Tri-City also has its own vaccine center at its Oceanside campus where over 35,000 vaccines have been administered.

“At this point we’re dealing with a surge at our facility, but we’re going to get through it,” Ma said. “It really does take a team, and the mayor and entire city have been phenomenal partners.”