Virginia Garcia opens larger clinic in Beaverton
Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation has opened a larger primary-care clinic in Beaverton.
The public will have a chance to look inside on Saturday, Aug. 11.
Most of the new 36,000-square-foot clinic at 2725 S.W. Cedar Hills Blvd., Suite 200, began operation July 23. The dental clinic was scheduled to open Wednesday, Aug. 8.
The new clinic is three times the size of the old clinic to the south, where most storage rooms were converted into examination rooms to accommodate the growing number of patients. The Beaverton Wellness Center will enable the staff to see 50 percent more patients within the next five years than the 12,000 now served annually.
Normal hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Beaverton center serves the most racially and ethnically diverse population of all 17 clinics and programs run by the foundation. More than 50 languages are spoken.
Rafal Adnan has been a patient at the Beaverton clinic since 2013, when she moved from Egypt with her family.
"I love the environment," she said of the Beaverton clinic. "There is a greater diversity of patients at Beaverton. That's why it feels like home. That's what America is about, having people from all ethnicities and races. It's there. You feel it. It's alive."
Grand-opening celebrations are scheduled Friday and Saturday, Aug. 10 and 11.
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., will be the keynote speaker at the Aug. 10 ribbon-cutting ceremony, which is closed to the public.
The foundation plans a CAREnival open to the public from noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 11.
Dental sealants for children between ages 6 and 15, free immunizations and sports physicals will be offered. Those are on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation will sponsor vision and hearing 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 between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
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 — and outgrew its space.
"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.
"The generosity of so many in our community who came together to make this happen is amazing," Cruz said later. "This clinic is a true testament to the belief that access to high quality, culturally appropriate health care is something everyone deserves."
Cruz said the Virginia Garcia board decided against borrowing money to complete the building. Instead, the board opted to raise the remaining $723,854.
"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.