New Columbia Medical Clinic building opens on 82nd Ave. of Roses

Find out why this is not just another physician’s clinic, and who is benefiting from the efforts of the two brothers who operate it …

Rich Sorem, with Rose City Associates and president of the East Portland Chamber of Commerce and Grace Uwagbae with Mayor Sam Adams’ office listen as the Columbia Clinic’s founder, Dr. Hoang Nguyen, MD, welcomes guests.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Although not new to outer East Portland, the staff and patients of Columbia Medical Clinic PC are now operating from a brand-new two-story brick-faced building – almost across the street from their former location – now at 3127 SE 82nd Avenue of Roses.

Invited to their grand opening celebration, we found the lobby and waiting room filled to capacity as the festivities got underway.

About to cut the ribbon opening the new clinic are: Grace Uwagbae; Rich Sorem, project architect; Tuan Luu, Vietnamese community elder and former colonel of South Vietnam Army; Tue Van Tran; Reverend Hau Duc Nguyen, the owner’s father; Trung Quang Nguyen; Venrable Thich Giac Huy; David Wales, the project manager for Perlo Construction; and De Tran, President of the Vietnamese Community of Oregon. Dr. Hoang Nguyen counts down to the ribbon cutting!

After clinic’s founder, Dr. Hoang Nguyen, MD, offered brief opening remarks, a large group of dignitaries stepped outside the building’s front doors as the rain swept in, on the Sunday morning of October 24, for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The clinic’s chief operating officer, also the brother of the founder, Hai Nguyen, told us why they started the clinic, back in 2006.

“Picture that you’ve come to see the doctor,” Nguyen began. “But, you don’t really understand what the doctor is saying because there is a language barrier. My brother and I witnessed that, firsthand, when our parents needed medical care.”

So, the brothers pragmatically set out to provide a solution, Nguyen explained. “My brother went to medical school, and I went to business school. Through the solid foundation that my parents provided for us, we are able to set out and achieve that dream.”

The father of the brothers who operate the clinic, Trung Quang Nguyen, teases the dancing lion with lucky money, as part of the opening celebration.

Holly, a staff member at the clinic, welcomes Deborah Higa, with Mt. Hood Community College and Chair of the East Portland Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors.

Their original goal was to serve those in the Vietnamese community. “Now, about 60% of our patients are Asians,” continued Nguyen. “But a large percentage of our patients are Hispanic. Our staff speaks several languages here – making us a poly-lingual clinic.”

Apparently, their model is working, “We’ve grown in the past four years from one patient to over 7,500 patients,” Nguyen commented. “We hope to boost that number up to 20,000 patients.”

For more information about the clinic, see their official website: CLICK HERE.

At the grand opening, the clinic’s founder, Dr. Hoang Nguyen, MD, his father, Trung Quang Nguyen, and brother and chief operating officer Hai Nguyen, look pleased that their new building is now ready to welcome patients. Columbia Medical Clinic photo

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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