Adventist Health opened a Banks location with primary and urgent care Jan. 9.

NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Physicians Assistant Matt French, Radiographer Joan Marti, Director Linda Grayson and Medical Assistant Laura Morrison pose for a photo in the X-Ray room at Adventist Health Clinic in Banks.Banks residents will soon be able to visit their primary care doctor, receive immunizations, get x-rays taken and take drug tests in the city's downtown.

Adventist Health opened a health clinic in Banks Jan. 9. For now, the clinic is accepting walk-in patients until it can hire more primary and urgent care physicians. Once it is fully staffed, those doctors will provide everything from regular check-ups to sport physicals to blood tests to flu shots, along with extended evening and weekend hours.

Depending on community needs, Adventist may also hire specialists such as a podiatrist or audiologist, according to Eric Swanson, Adventist Health's executive director of strategy and business development. The company also plans to offer pre-employment drug screenings and other occupational medicine services. NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - Joan Marti, a radiographer and phlebotomist, stands in the lab at the Adventist Health Clinic in Banks.

The clinic is located in the space next to Banks' Oriental Garden that formerly housed the Banks Curves, on the south side of Jim's Thriftway.

The Banks Adventist Health center is part of the Tillamook Regional Medical Center group, which operates several rural health clinics. The nonprofit health company operates in 75 communities in Oregon, Washington and Hawaii.

"We've watched Banks grow and grow and grow over the last decade," Swanson said, so it seemed like the right spot to open their next clinic.

Adventist opened up a similar clinic in Vernonia in August.

"People love getting that care close to home," Swanson said.

It's difficult for many rural residents to leave their jobs and drive an hour or more to get basic healthcare. "That has a financial impact for people," he added. NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - A temporary sign hangs outside of the new Adventist Health Clinic in Banks.

Adventist provides "professional, warm and welcoming care," said Swanson, who wants to assure Banks residents the clinic will be around long-term. "We care about the community and we're investing in the community. We're aren't going to just be there for a year or two and then close."

The new Banks clinic accepts all health insurances, Swanson said.

He doesn't want health coverage or finance concerns to deter patients, however. "If you don't have money, we will help you."NEWS-TIMES PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER OERTELL - The minor procedure room at the Adventist Health Clinic in Banks is ready for patients.

Clinic employees can help patients navigate insurance, payment plans and discounted care, Swanson said: "We have people to help for each situation."

By Stephanie Haugen
Reporter, Forest Grove News-Times
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