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OHSU debuts expanded clinic in Scappoose

Bigger building, more staffing will support thousands of new patients


SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Nicole Hoyt shows a new team office at OHSU's family health clinic in Scappoose. The facility recently expanded with 12 new exam rooms and more staff.

Oregon Health and Sciences University unveiled its expanded health care clinic in Scappoose last week.

The clinic on Old Portland Road underwent a building expansion that added 12 exam rooms, new offices, a conference room and an extended waiting room.

A bigger clinic means OHSU can serve about 8,000 more patients.

The family health care clinic offers Columbia County residents a full range of care, from family medicine to prenatal care, X-ray services, mammography and access to mental and behavioral health, as well as care for many sports-related injuries.

SAULTZ“When we built the practice there, it was shortly after the hospital in Columbia County closed,” said Dr. John Saultz. Saultz is chairman of OHSU’s Department of Family Medicine. “We were trying to up the outpatient capability. Much of what you see in the Scappoose clinic is a product of having built that up over 20 years.”

Nicole Hoyt, a project coordinator at the Scappoose clinic, made her way down a hallway, opening the door to a pristine conference room with a projector system. Next door, a new lab houses computers and ergonomic chairs with tags still attached.

“This is a new team room,” Hoyt explained.

The room reflects the university-based health care system’s approach to treating patients.

“The team idea, the idea of a patient-centered medical home, was sort of hatched around 2002 or 2003 around the country as a new model to develop primary care,” Saultz said. “It used to be individual doctors taking care of individual patients, and now it’s teams doing the care.”COURTNEY VAUGHN - A new exam room at the OHSU Family Medicine clinic in Scappoose marks one of many additions to the site.

In addition to adding capacity, OHSU’s Scappoose clinic also has added staff. Administrative staffing has become more robust. Four new doctors will help round out the team in Columbia County.

Other changes are afoot, too.

“We’re in the process of fully integrating mental and behavioral health there,” Saultz noted. “The reason is, so much of medicine today is driven by what you do, not by what the doctors do. Instead of saying, ‘You need to lose weight,’ it’s ‘We’ve got this team of people that are here to help you with that.’”

Saultz said the goal is to provide a full range of services to residents and prevent them from having to go to Portland for non-emergency appointments. The revamped facility is also an effort to make OHSU a one-stop shop for patients.

“The health care system is not just confusing, it’s dangerous,” Saultz said. “It’s dangerous to be bouncing around from health care system to health care system, not knowing what each other is doing, running repeated tests all the time. It’s costly.”

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