Clinic construction ahead of schedule, say health officials
By Karen Brainard
Palomar Health’s Ramona Ambulatory Care Center is scheduled to open its doors for patient care on March 4 and urgent care should be available on April 1, said health officials.
“We’re ahead of schedule,” said Pernell Jones, associate director of Practice Operations for Arch Health Partners, an affiliated physician organization of Palomar Health. “The workers have been phenomenal.”
When Palomar Health held its groundbreaking ceremony on June 20, 2012, authorities said they hoped to have the medical clinic on 13th Street completed by April.
Dr. Scott Flinn, medical director of Arch Health Partners, Victoria Lister, Arch Health executive director, and Jones gave an update on the medical clinic to a small group at the Ramona Community Center on Jan. 24.
The current Arch Health clinic at 1236 Main St. will move to Palomar’s new one-story, 7,600-square-foot medical center near the corner of 13th and Main Streets.
Initially, the clinic will be open for doctor’s visits from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and for urgent care, 3 to 7 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
Pernell said the urgent care hours were based on the volume of residents from Ramona, Santa Ysabel and neighboring communities at Arch Health’s Poway urgent care. If the demand increases, they will expand hours or open on Sundays, he said.
Flinn said that the urgent care will see all types of problems but will not be an emergency room.
“The real benefit is you can walk in and be seen,” he said.
Noting the difference between the current medical clinic and the new care center, Flinn said, “The real game changer is the availability of X-rays.”
The clinic will have radiology services with two X-ray technicians. The X-rays will be digital, instead of film, so results will be more immediate, said Lister.
Some lab work will be available at the medical center, but Lab Corp will not move in due to space limitations, said Jones. He added that Lab Corp is considering moving into a location by Albertsons and offering earlier hours.
Lister said they hope to bring in specialists, such as a dermatologist, cardiologist, or orthopedic doctor, to see patients on a half-day basis per week. The clinic will staff six family medicine physicians and another physician for urgent care. More physicians will be added, if needed, said Flinn.
Jones said the care center’s soft colors and materials, such as barnwood, were chosen to be reflective of Ramona and the countryside.
Anticipating the demand for higher level medical services, the health officials said they hope to eventually expand the new building. Palomar Health has the land to grow the clinic as the current configuration will only cover one acre of health district’s three-acre site.
The clinic, which was estimated to cost $6 million, was made possible with the passage of Proposition BB, the nearly $500 million bond measure that district voters approved in 2004. The bond money has also funded the new Palomar Medical Center building in Escondido.
- Palomar Health breaks ground Wednesday on Ramona clinic
- Palomar Health ready to break ground for clinic
- Palomar Health CEO envisions future expansion for new clinic
- Officials break ground for Ramona clinic
- Arch Health Partners selected a top performing physician group for second consecutive year
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