Tri-Cities Community Health moving Kennewick clinic to larger building

By Michelle Dupler, Tri-City HeraldDecember 31, 2012 

Tri-Cities Community Health soon will occupy the Kennewick space vacated by nonprofit Grace Clinic when it moved to Canal Drive this fall.

The Pasco-based clinic that serves about 30,000 Tri-Citians -- many of them uninsured or low-income -- is moving its Kennewick satellite clinic from its current digs at 5219 W. Clearwater Ave. down the street to 3180 W. Clearwater Ave.

Al Cordova, the clinic's CEO, told the Herald that the move will allow Tri-Cities Community Health to double the number of patients its doctors and nurses see in Kennewick.

"When we learned Grace Clinic was relocating, we jumped at that," he said.

Grace Clinic moved from the West Clearwater Avenue location to the old Benton Franklin Health District building at 800 W. Canal Drive to increase its own capacity to see patients, as well as to add services that include expanded dental and mental health care, and offering vision services the clinic didn't previously provide.

Grace Clinic volunteers provide medical, dental, counseling and pharmacy services to uninsured, low-income people, and gets almost 7,000 patient visits each year.

Cordova said the former Grace Clinic building is undergoing renovations, and Tri-Cities Community Health hopes to move in by the end of January.

The move also will allow Tri-Cities Community Health to add family doctors to reduce wait times and start a full-service dental program for its Kennewick patients.

Tri-Cities Community Health also hopes to expand a Richland clinic it started in June, Cordova said.

The Richland clinic is inside the Kadlec Clinic building at Leslie Road and Gage Boulevard, but Cordova hopes to find space in central Richland where Tri-Cities Community Health could serve more patients.

The Richland clinic offers family medicine and behavioral health counseling, but with more space could add WIC services, he said. The federal Food and Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children Paleo is often called WIC.

Cordova, who took the reins at Tri-Cities Community Health in October 2011, said the clinic has traveled a rocky road in recent years since changing its name from Community Health Center La Clinica, but he believes things are changing in positive ways.

"I like to think we have turned the corner and are in growth mode," he said.

-- Michelle Dupler: 582-1543; mdupler@tricityherald.com

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