Adventist Medical Center breaks ground for new Parkrose clinic

Here’s why they’re digging up the lot just south of new Goodwill store on NE 122nd Avenue …

Getting away from the light mist, a large group gathers under a tent to hear speeches made, in celebration of the Parkrose Medical Plaza groundbreaking.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Amid speeches and symbolic shovel-turns of dirt, politicians and Adventist Health officials held a groundbreaking ceremony on May 30 for a new clinic to be named the Parkrose Medical Plaza.

The new 23,027-square-foot complex, located on NE 122nd Avenue, a block south of NE Halsey Street, will include an urgent care center, a physical therapy clinic, laboratory services, digital imaging, primary care providers, and occupational medicine, said Adventist Medical Center (AMC) President Tom Russell.

Building the new clinic is an example of doing “the right thing”, says Adventist Medical Center President Tom Russell.

“The goal of this project is to ‘do the right thing’ for our community,” Russell said. “Our message is to ‘Demonstrate the healing ministry of Jesus’. We believe this calls us to excellence in health care – the clinical care that we provide – and excellence in community relations. Together, that is what is driving the work that we are doing here.”

Russell said this clinic focuses on healthcare for people with illnesses, but also focuses on wellness programs.

During his remarks to gathered celebrants, Russell proclaimed, “I thank many of our community collaborators such as the Hazelwood and Parkrose community associations, the Gateway business district, the East Portland Chamber of Commerce – and so many others who have made this project come to where it is today.”

He went on to name the architects, contractors, and others involved, and singled out for praise the broker of the deal, Ted Gilbert of Gilbert Brothers.

Here’s an artist’s conception of the Parkrose Medical Plaza building.

His son having been born at Portland Adventist gives his family a “special connection” with the hospital, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales says.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales thanked AMC for their “seasonal preparedness” – having had a tent on-site to protect attendees from the drizzling mist, during this ceremony.

“I think we’re celebrating three things here today. The first is investment in this part of the city, which will bring jobs to the construction workers and prosperity to this corner.

“The next is wellness. This clinic is about giving people access to healthcare through wellness, not just for curative purposes. I appreciate the Adventist [Health] commitment to that concept. Your commitment to wellness is something that shared by us, your leaders, and people who care about one another and as employers,” Hales said.

“Thirdly, this is about community. This is a part of the city where people have worked hard – Ted Gilbert among them – many of you here, including neighborhood activists, community leaders and city planners to try to create a prosperous and walkable community future for this part of the city. This kind of investment, this kind of building, is the right idea in the right place.”

Wrapping up, Hales said he was “an easy mark” for participating in AMC programs.

“32 years ago this week, I was walking around in the halls of Adventist Hospital, holding my firstborn son, Andy Hales – I was holding him in my arms. I can’t do that anymore; he is a big, strong sailor now. We got a great start in life, and my family got a great start a life, thanks to Adventist Hospital.”

Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz says this clinic will be good for outer East Portland.

“I, too, have both professional and personal reasons that I’m glad I am here to be at this event today, at this groundbreaking,” said Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz as she began her remarks.

“My parents live at CherryWood Village,” Fritz commented. “But also, as a retired registered nurse, I know that this is very important for our community. East Portland is on the rise.”

Saying AMC is one of the largest employers in outer East Portland, Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen commends the organization on developing this new clinic.

“I’m really glad to be here join in the celebration with my friends from the City,” said Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen.

“Adventist – I believe they’re the largest employer in East Portland – is re-committing to, and reinvesting in, outer East Portland. Five years after our economic collapse, we need more jobs – generally – and specifically, in East Portland. This is really positive development for this community.”

What’s more important, Cogen said, is AMC’s investment in what he called “a really important experiment for our state – the transformation of our health care system. This is about is bringing services to the community. This is about bringing urgent care out into the community.

“What we’re doing in trying to transform our healthcare system is use limited healthcare systems wisely to keep people healthy, rather than wait until they’re sick and going to the emergency room,” Cogen explained. “By providing a broader access to primary care services, especially, will be able to reach people, and make sure that they stay healthy.”

Metro District 1 Councilor Shirley Craddick explains the purpose of the regional governmental agency.

“You are in my district,” next pointed out Metro District 1 Councilor Shirley Craddick.

“Metro plays, I would say, a ‘back room’ role in the region by helping to make this a better place to live and work,” Craddick explained. “Our job is to make sure that we have an adequate land supply where we can build these buildings; and, that we make sure we have adequate transportation infrastructure in place.

“One of my goals, and what motivated me to run for this position, is that I want what is best for this part of the Metro region.”

Taking their groundbreaking ceremony seriously, these officials really dig in.

AMC officials say the mid-County Parkrose Medical Plaza will be the largest new business in the Parkrose/Hazelwood neighborhood area, and will hire approximately 80 employees. The comprehensive facility will open during the first quarter of 2014.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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