Monroe health providers step up services
MONROE - Local health providers are improving and enhancing their services, and the Tribune caught up with Sea Mar Community Health, Valley General Hospital, and Providence’s relocated urgent care clinic in North Kelsey to find out what's new.
Sea Mar is opening a dental clinic in its office at 17707 W. Main St. next month.
Valley General is adding more services through its partnership with EvergreenHealth.
Providence is seeing more people at the clinic that opened late last year.
Sea Mar Community Health
A new dental clinic through Sea Mar Community Health will soon be coming to Monroe.
Sea Mar’s affordable healthcare accessibility is part of their overall goal to help patients, according to Sea Mar’s regional dental manager Desiree Vives.
A large segment of Sea Mar’s clients are on Medicaid, also known as Washington Apple Health.
“We don’t have an official opening date yet,” Vives said last week. “I am tentatively looking at May 12, but that is not confirmed. I am still getting my ducks in a row.”
Vives said the new dental clinic will be located inside Sea Mar’s clinic at 17707 W. Main St. The dental clinic will be on the second floor and have six chairs and one dentist. Depending on the demand of care, they may be able to add another dentist since there are enough chairs and labs.
Vives said the only other Sea Mar dental clinic in Snohoish County is located in Marysville, and that a lot of the patients there are Monroe residents.
“There’s a lot of things going on with Sea Mar – but things are happening, we are all-service, wherever we’re needed, we trying to provide that access to the need out there,” Vives said. “The access we know is for adults; trying to open up more sites, so it’ll relieve the pressure from the site; try to manage schedules and try to maintain balance.”
Valley General Hospital
Valley General Hospital’s chief executive Eric Jensen has plenty of new programs to share, including adding more prenatal and OB-GYN care.
The hospital has a signed letter of intent with Fairfax Behavioral Health to lease space and services at the Monroe facility for psychiatric patients. Valley General will provide housekeeping and dietary care, as well as lab work and pharmacy work. A solid timeline as to when the letter will be made into reality has yet to be determined.
Valley General also has reinstituted a program that had previously been closed called the Chemically Using Pregnant Women (CUPW) program. Prior to closing in 2011, the state-funded Medicaid program generated about $30,000 per month for the hospital.
The chemical detox program opened in April through The Recovery Center, according to Jensen. The program’s revival became a possibility with the hospital’s affiliation with EvergreenHealth.
The program requires OB-GYN services. The two new physicians have been providing care out of the Monroe clinic.
The hospital’s pulmonary rehabilitation program recently opened earlier this month, and provides care for patients with lung disease and is one of the few lung care centers in east Snohomish County.
The program is currently a physician-referral plan only, and is 12 weeks long. Jensen said what is good about this program in Monroe, is that it helps local patients instead of them having to travel several miles for assistance in improved lung function.
People who need these services traditionally had to travel far to their appointments, Jensen said.
Patients who don’t have a referral yet can contact the hospital for more information.
Providence urgent care clinic
The recently opened Providence clinic in North Kelsey boasts a state-of-the-art facility that provides care to local or regional residents, according to Providence regional spokeswoman Cheri Russum.
The clinic provides services such as primary care, walk-in clinic, on-site pharmacy, and imaging: CT, MRI, mammography and X-ray services.
Speedy care and a multitude of services are key components for the new clinic.
For example, when people enter, they check in with the front desk and then go straight to their own private room. No more waiting areas, clinic building manager Patt Richesin said previously.
Patients are tagged with RFID-chipped bracelets that start timers that prompt doctors to visit the patient’s room, similar to a fast-food restaurant timing how long meal orders are finished.
The system is meant to make sure nobody has to wait long for medical care, said.
Richesin assured that patients are not limited in how long they visit with the doctor under this timed system.
The clinic wants to offer everything a patient may need, Richesin said.
Efficiency and lean principles are the key buzzwords built into the clinic. Doctors are stationed close to the patients. Medical supplies are in movable carts, meaning the hospital can save on stocking materials and doctors know exactly what supplies are there.
Inside the rooms, doctors can swivel their computer monitors to the patient to show what medical care is needed.
Patients can track their care on their cell phone through Providence’s MyChart system.
Providence also is trying out group session doctor visits, meaning many people with the same issues, such as diabetes and congestive heart failure, can all meet at once for a much cheaper rate than one-on-one doctor visits.
For example, chronic disease patients like those with diabetes can go to group meetings and conferences with physicians, MA’s or even nutritionists to educate them more about their medical issue. The group-like appointments gives the patient all the resources they need in one location, one conference.
Russum said that much like its sister clinic in Everett, the Monroe clinic will soon have sites for pregnant women group appointments.
“There are specialists that rotate in for pretty much everything. It’s quite a thriving clinic,” Russum said.
The Monroe clinic’s hours are 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. weekdays and also open Saturdays and Sundays. (Its pharmacy inside is open 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays.)