Summit Pacific has made drastic changes to the face of healthcare in rural East Grays Harbor County. To meet the needs of the growing community and nearby cities, the Medical Center in Elma opened their doors for business in February of 2013. Not long after, the massive, state-of-the-art Wellness Center, a hub for health and wellness in the community boasting three floors dedicated to preventive medicine, was unveiled. Additionally, in 2016 Summit Pacific’s McCleary Healthcare Clinic also opened their doors and is now eager to welcome additional patients and grow with the community.
The McCleary Healthcare Clinic, although smaller than its sibling facilities in Elma, is every bit as capable of providing high-quality service to Grays Harbor County and beyond. The McCleary Clinic features 10 exam rooms, a social worker presence, a laboratory draw station, and high-low power exam tables, secured through a grant from the Grays Harbor Community Foundation. A major bonus for clinic patients is that it’s co-located with the McCleary HealthMart Pharmacy, the first pharmacy in the city in roughly 15 years.
The city of McCleary is made up of only 38 people per square mile in contrast to the Washington State average of around 100. The benefit of the McCleary Healthcare Clinic is that access to the highest quality of care is readily available, thus eliminating the need to travel to larger cities to obtain healthcare. This role is vital for families, the elderly community or simply individuals that are unable to drive miles in order to maintain their wellbeing.
Bringing Naturopathic Medicine to McCleary
Over the last three years in operation, the McCleary Healthcare Clinic has continued to grow and expand its offerings, which now include naturopathic medicine. “Summit Pacific’s goal across all facilities is to advocate for patients to not only visit when they’re sick, but also before a sickness sets in,” explains Marney Gagnon, manager at the McCleary Healthcare Clinic. “We’re always trying to be as proactive with patients’ health as possible, such as assisting with diet and nutrition plans.”
Today, the McCleary Healthcare Clinic now offers access to primary care provider Dr. Brian Lear, MD, Rebecca Bodle-Shingu, ARNP, Joe Kohn, ARNP, and Nicole Taylor, ND, who practices naturopathic medicine.
Joe Kohn, From Emergency Department Nurse, to Primary Care Provider
Joe Kohn, ARNP has been with Summit Pacific for over 10 years and onboard at the McCleary Healthcare Clinic since day one. Over the years, he’s officially transitioned into a primary care provider who’s able to see patients and establish lasting relationships. “Joe is a very well respected provider who has helped transform our clinic,” states Gagnon. “Patients really love seeing him. He works to coordinate efforts among other providers and helps everyone become part of the team. Every single day, Joe comes in to work enthusiastic about seeing his patients.” Kohn began his career at Summit Pacific as an emergency department nurse and had also worked as a clinical educator before returning to school to become a nurse practitioner.
Originally from Hoquiam, Kohn knows the struggles that individuals and families in Grays Harbor County often face. “Grays Harbor is a small county that is somewhat economically depressed,” he shares. “Because of this, we see a lot of providers who come to the area to work for a short period of time, then move on to a bigger city. I call Grays Harbor home and this community means a great deal to me. I often find that I’m better able to understand the demographic and personally relate to it better because I grew up here.”
He adds that giving back to the people that he grew up with is invaluable. “There are those who have to travel in from cities such as Humptulips or Ocean Shores,” Kohn adds. “Providers from other areas may not understand the lack of transportation available to these individuals or how limited their resources are. Personally, I know of these challenges, which allows me to show empathy and compassion when providing care.”
Over his years at the McCleary Healthcare Clinic, Kohn has continued to show pride in his profession. “It’s been a lot of fun to be able to help manage the community’s medical concerns,” he says. “From the young children to the elderly, it’s great to be able to see patients on a regular basis and establish relationships. When an emotional attachment is present, a patient is more likely to accept and implement their medical advice.”
The future for the McCleary Healthcare Clinic is bright. “Right now,” expresses Marney Gagnon, “we’re excited to have the staff on board that we do and that we are able to take on many new patients. We’re here to serve the community in and around East County. Summit Pacific is 110 percent into giving back to Grays Harbor and seeing the area thrive.” Offering a sense of family and small-town feel, the staff members at the McCleary Healthcare Clinic remember patients by name, offering a hometown feel not often found at larger clinics.
The knowledgeable staff at Summit Pacific strives to embody the values of passion, respect, integrity, compassion and excellence in everything they do. Summit Pacific’s McCleary Healthcare Clinic is now accepting new patients. Visit the Summit Pacific Medical Center website or call 360-346-2222 to schedule a new patient appointment with one of the providers dedicated to partnering with you to achieve your health and wellness goals.