Virginia Garcia absorbing patients from closing clinic
The Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center is absorbing more than 7,000 patients of a Southwest Portland-area clinic.
The Southwest Community Health Center officially announced Monday, Sept. 10, it will close this year, with the goal of transitioning all its patients to Virginia Garcia by the end of November. The health center in Multnomah Village is expected to close at that time.
The transition for more than 7,000 patients will begin in September, with a goal of having all patients established with Virginia Garcia by the end of November. The health center is expected to be shuttered by Nov. 29, according to its website.
"The changing nature of the health care landscape has made it necessary for us to find a more permanent and comprehensive primary care option for our patients," said Samira Godil, executive director of the Southwest Community Health Center. "Our patients deserve access to services beyond medical visits, including dental, mental health, pharmacy and vision. Virginia Garcia has the resources available to provide this expansive care."
Virginia Garcia operates health centers throughout Washington and Yamhill counties, including school-based health centers.
The closure of its Portland clinic comes just months after the Southwest Community Health Center ended operations at a second location in Hillsboro. At the time it closed that facility this spring, after only about five years, Godil suggested the Southwest Portland location would likely follow suit.
"It's going to be a change for everybody, but I think change brings opportunity too, and I feel this change will be really great for our patients," Godil said at the time.
Patients from the Southwest Community Health Center's Hillsboro clinic were also transitioned to Virginia Garcia. The Cornelius-based healthcare nonprofit has multiple facilities in Hillsboro, and it opened a new and improved Beaverton location earlier this summer.
The Southwest Community Health Center opened its primary clinic, the one that is set to close in November, at 7754 S.W. Capitol Highway in Portland in 2005. The clinic provides acute care, as well as primary care for patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and depression, serving a largely low-income population. Specialty women's health services and partnerships with local community resources have been added over the years for patients who don't have alternative access to comprehensive medical care.
Virginia Garcia serves a similar population.
Beginning in September, Virginia Garcia will provide on-site staff at the Southwest Community Health Center in Multnomah Village to help patients register for services, and — for those who are eligible — to sign up for Medicaid.
Most existing patients will transfer to Virginia Garcia's Beaverton Wellness Center, officials said.
"We thank Southwest Community Health Center and their many volunteers who have provided a wonderful service for the community," said Gil Muñoz, chief executive officer of Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center. "Virginia Garcia is committed to ensuring no patient falls through the cracks and we will work carefully with Southwest Community Health Center to ensure a smooth transition."
The Southwest Community Health Center stated in a press release Monday that its transferring patients "should experience uninterrupted care in a familiar setting." Many of the patients it serves already live a short drive, bus ride or MAX trip away from the Beaverton Wellness Center at 2725 S.W. Cedar Hills Blvd., Suite 200, according to Godil.