Women across Washington County have a new place to go for medical care.
Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center opened a new women's clinic at the Tuality 7th Avenue Medical Plaza, 333 S.E. Seventh Ave. in Hillsboro. The clinic opened Friday, May 12.
"While the new health care proposal set to replace the Affordable Care Act is stripping down services for women and making health care even more expensive for those that need it most, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center is expanding and improving its services for women," said Kasi Woidyla, a spokeswoman with Virginia Garcia.
It's the first dedicated women's clinic for VGMHC, which has provided health care to low-income families across Washington and Yamhill counties for decades.
The clinic focuses largely on obstetrics, offering services for pregnant women as well as family planning, newborn checkups and services for high-risk pregnancies.
The clinic also offers postpartum care as well as group classes in English and Spanish for expectant mothers where they can learn about labor, delivery, pain medications and lactation.
"The Women's Clinic will foster a healthy community by concentrating on women as the heart and soul of the family and the home," said Monica Arce, lead clinician for the new Women's Clinic.
"Babies will be given the strongest start, and as the number of pregnant women we serve increases, we will see more groups, more community and more healthy starts to life for the next generation of Oregonians," Arce said.
Virginia Garcia currently offers women's service at its Hillsboro Clinic, but Arce said that clinic is too small to meet the growing number of women who want care.
"Our biggest challenge right now is space." Arce said. "We have 245 OB patients, but we don't have the space to offer all the programs and services they need during their pregnancy.
"The new clinic will provide us with that space and allow us to not only enhance the programs we currently offer, but also expand services that we currently are referring out to other clinics," Arce said.
Virginia Garcia offers health care to about 45,000 patients each year. The organization runs several health clinics, school-based health centers and dental clinics, but has never operated a clinic solely aimed at women's health before.