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OHSU departs Westmoreland; clinic to remain open

by: Eric Norberg, A handshake between Dr. David McAnulty of Northwest Primary Care, left, and OHSU’s Dr. Michael Monozzola, in the lobby of the Westmoreland clinic building in mid-October, sealed the friendly transition of the clinic at S.E. Milwaukie Avenue at Tolman -- which reopened for family medical care on November 1st.

The July BEE announced that Oregon Health Sciences University had returned to a resolve announced, then postponed, early last year -- to move most of its staff and services out of its 11-year-old OHSU Clinic on S.E. Milwaukie Avenue in Westmoreland, and into the new South Waterfront facility now being completed near the west end of the Ross Island Bridge. As previously announced, only a children's developmental research facility upstairs in the clinic will continue to be operated on the site by the university.

OHSU completed its move out of the building on October 27th. But, according to Dr. David McAnulty of Northwest Primary Care, that July BEE article started a dialogue between his medical service and OHSU, which resulted in an agreement for the Milwaukie-based Northwest Primary Care to move a family medical practice into 12 of the 21 examining rooms on the first floor of the building, and occupy, in all, two thirds of the floor. It will be the fourth location for Northwest Primary Care, and its first in Multnomah County. If this proves successful, it may expand into more of the first floor.

As a result, just three days after OHSU moved out, Northwest Primary Care was moving in -- the target date was November 1st to open its doors to the public and begin accepting patients.

Dr. Michael Monozzola of OHSU told THE BEE that the university will accommodate whichever preference each former patient served in the building may have. If they want to follow the OHSU staff to the South Waterfront, their medical records will be transferred there. But if they want to keep coming to the Westmoreland building, their medical records will stay there for the reference of Northwest Primary Care physicians. Two family doctors were on staff November 1st -- one of whom will be Dr. McAnulty -- and two more will be added to the staff by the end of the year.

Further, both Dr. McAnulty and Dr. Monozzola assure that a cooperative atmosphere will exist between the two medical entities; many of Northwest Primary Care's physicians were trained at OHSU, and the Westmoreland clinic will continue to be a 'teaching site', meaning that students and residents at the university will still rotate through the clinic to work with the physicians of Northwest Primary Care.

So, at the spot from which till the mid-1990's the delicious scent of baking Ruth Ashbrook pastries used to fill the air of Westmoreland, the 16-year tradition of family medicine will now continue, as OHSU consolidates its staff at its new location 'at the bottom of the tram' in the new South Waterfront district, while Northwest Primary Care hangs out its shingle for patients in Westmoreland.