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New Yakima clinic designed to be a purpose-built facility

YAKIMA - Memorial Physicians yesterday (Monday) announced plans to build a new Memorial Cornerstone Medicine facility, to be located in the Creekside Business Park on South 40th Avenue in Yakima.

Cornerstone has operated at its current location for 30 years, but as the patient population ages, there is a need for added convenience for patients. Scheduled to open in December of this year, the new “purpose-built” facility will be designed to take into account the entire patient experience, with additional parking, improved accessibility and integration of services under one roof.

“We are excited to begin a new chapter at Cornerstone - one that includes a facility designed to best meet the needs of our current and future patients,” said Greg Sawyer, CEO of Memorial Physicians.

“This new clinic will allow us to offer pharmacy and laboratory services, dieticians and educational programs in one place, while still providing the high quality health care our patients have come to expect,” Sawyer said.

Other health systems in the state - Virginia Mason, UW Medicine - have also designed purpose-built outpatient clinics. Such clinics are designed to allow for services to be brought directly to the patient, and the design and layout of the new building in Yakima take into account the entire patient experience.

In this case, the new clinic is all about convenience for patients. The number of steps from the entrance to the exam room has been counted to minimize the number of steps a patient takes once they come into the clinic. Patients will receive care that is integrated, more efficient and comfortable, according to officials employed with Memorial Physicians.

“It is great that we are able to grow and improve our services at a time when it is needed the most. The health care system is going through profound transformation, and we believe that maintaining focus on patients and their care should prevail,” said Dr. Gabriel Lascar, medical director of Memorial Cornerstone Medicine.

“We are the largest internal medicine group in town, serving a population with complex health issues,” Lascar said. “Having a very functional, purpose-built facility enhances our ability to serve these patients at the top of our potential.”

A frequent complaint in patient satisfaction surveys is that patients don’t like to wait in crowded, noisy waiting rooms. To address this in the design of the new facility, the waiting room space has been downsized and larger exam rooms have been created. These larger rooms can accommodate wheelchairs, walkers and family members or caregivers. From check-in to check-out, all of the services will occur in the exam room.

Services being offered at the new clinic will include full service retail pharmacy, including a drive through pharmacy that serves Cornerstone patients and Memorial employees; an anti-coagulation management clinic; a lab draw station; dietitians on site; and an on-site behaviorist.

Cornerstone also is in the process of hiring two new primary care providers to meet the growing need for health care services.

“The addition of on-site pharmacy, nutrition/obesity/diabetes counseling, behavioral management and care coordination services adds value to the chronic care model, and the prospect of a new clinic attracts new doctors in primary care where they are much needed,” Lascar said.

“A new building with improved flow and efficiencies will create a whole new work environment, bring out the best from all of us and reflect back in our patients’ health.”

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