Carroll Avenue entrance to the Washington Adventist Hospital campus. The new community clinic is in the brick building seen in the background.
BY SAMANTHA BORTNIKER
The Washington Adventist Hospital continues to seek approval to relocate from the Takoma Park campus to the White Oak area of Silver Spring. However, its new partnership with Community Clinic, Inc. plays an important role in maintaining health care services in Takoma Park.
On January 21, 2014 the Community Clinic opened in Takoma Park. The new clinic is part of Washington Adventist Hospital’s proposal to relocate and made possible as a result of the new partnership between Washington Adventist Hospital, WAH, and Community Clinic, Inc., CCI.
The clinic is located on the first floor of WAH’s Conference Center building, 7620 Carroll Ave. During its initial phase of operation the clinic will be open Monday through Friday from 8a.m. to 4:30p.m.
Community clinic entrance.
“CCI’s focus is on primary and preventive care services for all members of the community,” Dr. William Flynt, Chief Executive Officer of CCI said. The purpose of the new clinic, a Federally Qualified Health Center, is also to expand access to primary and preventative care for those underserved.
“The partnership between Washington Adventist Hospital and CCI makes it possible to specifically help patients at high risk of hospital readmission, through discharge and transition planning,” Joyce Newmyer, President of Washington Adventist Hospital said.
Services CCI provides include: primary care, nutrition services, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) health-related services.
“I’m glad they’ve opened up here, because I recognize that urgent-care services have been lacking in Takoma Park and that keeping people out of the WAH emergency room, who don’t really need to be there, will better serve them, lead to improved WAH ER responsiveness, and save WAH a lot of money,” Councilmember Seth Grimes said.
As a Federally Qualified Health Center, which is part of the Public Health Service Act, the clinic receives reimbursements and other benefits from providing services to an underserved population.
“The clinic is part of the services WAH will keep in Takoma Park in addition to the 24/7 primary care clinic the hospital will run,” Deputy City Manager Suzanne Ludlow said.
Washington Adventist Hospital president Joyce Newmyer addresses the city council in 2012.
Newmyer said, CCI “plays an integral role in the continued health services that will be offered on the Takoma Park campus.” However, if WAH relocates to Silver Spring Takoma Park will be left without an emergency room.
Ludlow explained the city wants assurance that good health services will be maintained and available within and for the community.
As part of WAH’s proposal to relocate, which is still under review, it proposed two clinics. The Community Clinic, which recently opened, serves those under or uninsured and gives patients the opportunity to make appointments with primary care physicians to lower the risk of hospital readmission.
The Washington Adventist Hospital campus. Convention Center (location of Community Clinic) on left, the hospital’s main building in the background on the right.
The second clinic proposed, which will not open until after WAH relocates, is a 24/7 primary care clinic for drop-ins.
“In addition to the CCI clinic, we will also offer 24/7 clinical services, behavioral health services, inpatient rehabilitation provided by Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland/Takoma Park, outpatient clinics, doctor’s offices and other services such as laboratory, pharmacy, radiology and Wound Care in Takoma Park, in order to provide additional points of access to health care for the community,” Newmyer said.
While Ludlow said the “Village Idea” is no longer being proposed, Dr. Flynt said in addition to the 24/7 primary care clinic, CCI is also planning an expansion later this year to allow for 12,000 patient visits a year.
“CCI has had a longstanding presence in Takoma Park,” Dr. Flynt said. “We are confident that the community medical needs will be met with CCI’s 40 years of unwavering commitment to providing high quality primary care and health-related services to all.