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New medical office will tend to families and the medically underserved in the East County community

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - The new Outside In medical office opens Tueaday, Sept. 8, and will treat medically-underserved families and others in the Rosewood neighborhood.

A new Outside In medical clinic catering to low-income people is opening in East County's Rosewood neighborhood next week.

"We have a strong team in place and we are excited to work with the community," said Mallory Dudley, manager of the clinic.

The new medical office, at Northeast 162nd Avenue and Burnside Street, is right at a MAX stop to make it more accessible for people without cars.

Although known for treating "street kids" in Portland, Outside In's new Rosewood clinic will treat everyone and is set up as a family practice clinic.

The medical office, which opens Tuesday, Sept. 8, will see patients from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group will have a virtual ribbon cutting and will post the video on its web page.

The family practice clinic will offer pediatric services.

"There are a lot of families in the neighborhood. About 22% of the population in Rosewood is families headed by single moms," said Dudley.

People can be treated for everything from diabetes management, to hypertension, to addictions, to sore throats. The clinic offers basic reproductive services and behavioral health services.

If a patient requires a more complicated treatment or diagnostics, such as an X-ray, Outside In will refer them to another medical facility.

About 28% of the neighborhood is Latino and many are Spanish speakers, Dudley said. The clinic has a Spanish speaker on staff and access to translation services for speakers of other languages.

The striking new clinic has six patient exam rooms, four behavioral health counseling rooms and a space for patients to store their belongings and take a shower. There is also a community room and an outdoor courtyard.

"The majority of our visits are telemed now," Dudley said. The "remote" telemedicine visits are safer in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. If patients don't have access to a computer, they can show up in person at the clinic and be "seen" by a practitioner via computer remotely. Some medical treatment requires in-person contact with a provider and that will be accommodated.

The Outside In medical office is following all the recommended safety procedures during the pandemic. The number of people in the waiting room will be limited and socially-distanced. Masks and hand sanitizer are available for those who need them. Anyone coming to the clinic will be asked questions to screen for the coronavirus.

The new clinic is a scaled-down version of the organization's 13th Avenue Clinic in downtown Portland. About 5,000 people consider Outside In their primary care medical home and the group has special expertise in treating transgender patients. More than 600 of the 5,000 patients are transgender.

Outside In was founded in Portland in 1968 and aims to help homeless youth and other marginalized people toward self-sufficiency and better health.

The new clinic will be a Federally Qualified Health Center, which provides primary and preventive care to very low-income and homeless people.

"We welcome everyone. Nobody will be turned away for inability to pay," Dudley said. The new Rosewood clinic can enroll people in the Oregon Health Plan either onsite or online.

Said Dudley: "We're looking at being a community partner in the neighborhood."

Bee healthy

The most striking feature of the new Outside In medical clinic in Portland's Rosewood neighborhood is the brightly colored mural that graces the clinic entrance.

Created by Portland artist Michael Hensley, the mural incorporates bright splashes of color with dramatic use of white space.

Hensley, who has worked with Outside In on many prior projects, said he didn't want the mural to be "too literal" and said he wanted it to be "joyous and playful."

The aim was so "people can make up their own stories about it."

Hensley and another artist painted the mural by hand, using "old school sign lettering enamel."

For the Rosewood clinic project, Hensley repeated some images he's used in past Outside In murals and artwork.

There is a dog pictured, representing a former Outside In job training program in doggie day care.

Bees are also depicted in the mural.

"I'm a beekeeper. Bees are community oriented. They work together as a group."


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