Posted Sep 1, 2015 at 12:01 AM
La Clinica is opening a new center today focused on wellness and prevention to provide broader care to its rapidly growing patient base.
When the nonprofit first opened in 1988, it catered mostly to seasonal migrant workers but since has grown to serve low-income families throughout the Rogue Valley. The new wellness center signifies a shift in the organization’s focus, moving beyond treating diseases to promoting healthy lifestyles for all clients.
“We’ll be focusing on preventive care, management, as well as offering classes,” said medical director Justin Adams, a family practitioner who has been working with La Clinica for three years.
The project, which involved remodeling a vacant post office building at 730 Biddle Road, cost $5.2 million. Last month, La Clinica said it had raised about $1.4 million of a $2.7 million community campaign. Spokeswoman Julie Wurth said the clinic expects to fund the remainder of the cost through loans.
La Clinica received a $650,000 annually renewable federal grant to provide care at the new clinic, which is expected to serve 5,000 patients, about 3,500 of them new.
The new clinic was sparked by increased demand on La Clinica’s 17 facilities across the county, the result of a surge of insured patients in the past year because of the Affordable Care Act.
“We did this in response to a huge need for care,” said Adams. “At the end of the day, recruitment won’t be a problem for us.”
The building features 27 patient exam rooms as well as a demo kitchen and movement and meeting rooms. Yoga and Zumba classes will be available at low cost to all La Clinica patients, even those who visit other clinics. Patients also can be referred to the new facility to take cooking and nutrition classes at the demo kitchen. Adams said the organization hopes to promote wellness at all of its clinics.
The building features a variety of energy-saving measures. More than 95 percent of the lights are LED and equipped with manual dimmers. Lights placed near skylights adjust with the changing light of the day. The parking lot lights come to full brightness only at night when someone is present.
La Clinica provided care to 25,000 patients last year, or one out of every 10 residents in Jackson County.
“If we know there is need in the community, we’re going to meet that need,” said Wurth.