Community Health officials celebrate opening of expanded clinic

By Michelle Dupler, Herald staff writerMarch 8, 2013 

Tri-Cities Community Health officials Thursday celebrated the opening of an expanded Kennewick clinic with more exam rooms and the addition of dental services.

The Pasco-based nonprofit health agency has had a small satellite clinic in Kennewick for a number of years, but recently moved into a larger space on Clearwater Avenue vacated by Grace Clinic when it moved in October.

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. The clinic gets almost 7,000 patient visits each year.

With the move, Tri-Cities Community Health likewise has expanded its ability to serve patients. The clinic serves about 21,000 people a year -- many of them low-income uninsured or underinsured, although the agency also sees patients who have insurance and are not low-income.

CEO Al Cordova said everyone who walks through the doors at Tri-Cities Community Health is treated the same.

"We take quite a bit of pride in treating all patients as valuable customers regardless of whether they are insured or uninsured," Cordova said.

The new Kennewick clinic has nine exam rooms and three rooms for dental procedures. Practitioners offer a range of services, including family practice, pediatrics, obstetrics and mental health counseling.

"One of the advantages our organization has is we have a wide range of services under one umbrella, so coordination of services is better," Cordova said.

So if a patient comes in to see a family doctor but also has a toothache or shows signs of depression, the doctor can refer the patient to services under the same roof, he said.

"I'm really pleased to have this clinic to be able to meet the needs of our patient population," he said.

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