La Clinica’s efforts to provide safe and quick evaluation of possible COVID-19 symptoms have evolved into plans for an acute care clinic designed to respond to infectious disease outbreaks as well as common illnesses and injuries that need urgent care.
La Clinica is developing a roughly 1,500-square-foot acute care clinic at 616 Market St., around the corner from its Wellness Center. The new clinic is expected to open in January.
Initially it will house the organization’s respiratory triage clinic, which provides COVID-19 screening and testing. In March, La Clinica set up its respiratory triage clinic at the Wellness Center, blocking off space and using a separate entrance to keep patients with a cough, fever, and related symptoms safely away from others.
Within a year, La Clinica expects to add a variety of acute care services for the quick treatment of infectious diseases and minor injuries. Eventually, the plan is to expand the building and offer wound care, sports physicals, well-child checks, initial visits for substance use care, and imaging.
“This innovative project brings together best practices in public health and clinical care to meet community needs every day in a flexible and cost-effective way,” Chief Operations Officer Tara Kirk said.
The new clinic will be in a concrete-block building La Clinica has used for storage. It will have six exam rooms and incorporate multiple features designed to protect patients and employees from contagious illnesses. For example, the pharmacy, lab, and reception desk will have walk-up or drive-up service windows. A rolling overhead door will open the waiting area to the outdoors. Space for staff to put on and take off protective gear and an upgraded ventilation system will help limit exposure to potential dangers.
Remodeling, permits, and equipping the clinic will push the initial investment in the project to nearly $900,000. Vitus Construction Inc. is the general contractor. La Clinica is raising money for the project and will rely on community support, including government and foundation grants. Visit www.laclinicahealth.org/donate to support the acute care center, La Clinica’s COVID-19 emergency response, or general operations.