New building on Cedar Hills Boulevard triples available space in anticipation of 50 percent more patients; grand-opening ceremonies scheduled Aug. 10 and 11

TIMES PHOTO: PETER WONG - Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation opens a larger wellness clinic at Cedar Hills Crossing in Beaverton. Opening ceremonies are scheduled Aug. 10-11.Cornelius-based Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation has opened a new primary clinic in Beaverton.

The new 36,000-square-foot clinic at 2725 S.W. Cedar Hills Blvd. began operation on Monday, July 23. The clinic is is three times the size of an old Virginia Garcia clinic to the south. It will enable the staff to see 50 percent more patients than the 12,000 now served annually.

Normal hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Grand-opening celebrations are scheduled Aug. 10 and 11.

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., will be the keynote speaker at the Aug. 10 ceremony.

The foundation plans a CAREnival open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 11. Dental sealants, free immunizations and sports physicals will be offered — they are on a first-come, first-served basis — and the Lions Club will sponsor vision tests. The event will offer other health screenings, such as blood pressure checks.

There will be a balloon artist, face painting, live entertainment and music. Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District will bring its RecMobile and Bouncy House.

NW Natural and Reser's Fine Foods will offer hot dogs.

Ground was broken for the building on Nov. 14, 2016.

For Serena Cruz, the foundation's executive director, the new clinic will be a big change from what the staff has been used to. When the old clinic opened in 2004, it served 3,000 patients.

"If I could do cartwheels, I would have done cartwheels in that (new) space," said Cruz, a former Multnomah County commissioner.

"It's almost too big. After being squashed for so long, I think it's going to take them a little time to realize they can breathe. People who have been functioning in the dark with little elbow room now have light."

Cruz spoke at a meeting July 24 with Washington County commissioners, who approved $250,000 toward the $7.7 million the foundation raised for the project. Most came from foundations, state and federal grants, Care Oregon and Providence Health & Services.

Cruz said the Virginia Garcia board decided against borrowing money to complete the building.

"We have invested those resources back into our patients and serving the uninsured," she said.

Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation runs clinics and programs in Washington and Yamhill counties, including six school-based health centers. Two-thirds of the patients are under the federal poverty level, and 42 percent are under age 18.

Cruz said the Beaverton clinic has a waiting list of more than 500 uninsured patients.

"Our staff is super-excited about working through the list and getting those people into care," she said.

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