Business & economy, In the community

Construction underway for new clinic in Ontario

A new medical clinic to serve inner-city clients in Ontario is under construction with a scheduled opening next April.

The clinic is being built by Valley Family Health Care and is going up on Northwest Eighth Avenue at Fortner Street, about block east of the Beck-Kiwanis Park. It is the first new clinic added to Valley Family’s operations since it opened a dental clinic in Payette seven years ago.

“It’s a pretty big deal for us and for the community,” said Ben Murray, Valley Family’s chief operations officer.

The idea for the clinic came out of discussions with operators of River Bend Place, the new housing complex that opened earlier this year in the former Presbyterian Community Care Center. Murray said the original idea was to put the clinic inside River Bend, but there wasn’t enough room.

He said the clinic will make getting medical care easier for those who now travel to Valley Family’s main Ontario operation, on Southwest Fourth Avenue.

“Being closer will be helpful,” Murray said.

Plans call for the new clinic to have two medical providers, a counselor and a psychiatric nurse.

The clinic also will host a new pharmacy open to the public, to be operated by Genoa Healthcare. Genoa already operates in the area, with a pharmacy inside the main Lifeways complex in Ontario and Valley Family’s Payette clinic.

“We found them to be a pretty good partner,” Murray said.

Genoa is one of the country’s largest pharmacy chains with more than 650 locations. The company describes itself as “the leading provider of pharmacy services for people with mental illness, substance use disorders, and other complex, chronic conditions.”

Murray said the new clinic is designed to fit into the residential neighborhood where it will operate, looking more like a home than a commercial building.

“We’re committed to the people of Malheur County,” said Murray. “This is another way to improve health.”

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