According to the National Rural Health Association, nearly 25% of Americans live in rural areas but are served by only 10% of our country’s physicians. In Grays Harbor, Summit Pacific Medical Center facilities exist with a mission to “advance the health of all individuals with an emphasis on quality, access and compassion.” To this end, they are replacing their current Mark Reed Healthcare Clinic in McCleary with a brand new, larger, state-of-the-art facility which will be located on the main corridor in downtown McCleary to offer what Renee Smith, Director of Rural Health Clinics, calls “healthcare in their own backyard.”
With only 38 people per square mile, as opposed to the state average of 101, the new McCleary Healthcare Clinic ensures residents access to the highest quality care, without having to drive to distant urban hubs.
Smith acknowledges that this new clinic grew out of McCleary’s growing community need as well as the town’s future potential growth and development. The new facility will feature ten exam rooms, five primary care providers (to start), a social worker presence and their neighbor will be the brand new McCleary HealthMart Pharmacy. Much of the equipment in the current Mark Reed Healthcare Clinic will be repurposed but there will be a substantial amount of new and updated equipment and furnishings put into the new clinic as well.
A generous grant from the Grays Harbor Community Foundation has helped secure some of the new equipment. The local non-profit organization recently bestowed a $16,500 award to Summit Pacific to purchase three high-low power exam tables for McCleary Healthcare Clinic. “These new beds are an upgrade from a typical, standard exam bed in that they can be lowered and raised to assist patients in getting onto and off of the exam table, as well as placing the patient at a height that is more ergonomically friendly for the provider doing the exam. These beds will provide our elderly, bariatric, pregnant and handicapped patients a new level of security and comfort during their exams.” explains Lauren Day, Summit Pacific Medical Foundation’s Executive Director who worked to secure the grant.
Another tremendous benefit of the new clinic will be the bustling pharmacy presence. Renee Smith praises the pairing as “an added bonus for the community” since the city of McCleary hasn’t had its own pharmacy for 15 years.
Tom Huttula, the owner and pharmacist at the Elma Health Mart Pharmacy, is proud to be partnering with Summit Pacific. “You can’t even measure the impact that this group has had in our community,” he says. “This organization is on the forefront of technology and medical services and we’re excited to be included.”
The new pharmacy location will share building space with the clinic but maintain separate entrances. Elma HealthMart Pharmacy will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and will be staffed by a pharmacist, two pharmacy technicians and a pharmacy assistant. The new location’s computers will connect to their existing Elma location so prescriptions can be filled at either branch offering an extra level of convenience to patients.
Huttula’s father opened the original Elma HealthMart Pharmacy and Tom took over management in 1988. When the former McCleary pharmacy closed, he generously hired on many of its employees. In this spirit of community pride, he is excited for the new venture. “The need is there,” he admits. “It’s a pretty optimal situation. We’re looking forward to it.”
Tanya Weber, Clinic Nurse Manager for the McCleary location, echoes Huttula’s sentiments. “The community has been incredibly supportive of the new clinic. We take a lot of pride in knowing that we are not only providing wonderful care to our patients, but now we will be able to provide a brand new clinic in which to provide those services.”
She continues, “To be honest, I chose to come work for Mark Reed Clinic over 5 years ago for two important reasons. First, I wanted the opportunity to work for and with Renee Jensen. She is an amazing leader who truly cares about bringing high-quality healthcare services to not only our patients but the entire community. Second, I wanted to be part of the transformation of how we deliver care. I feel fortunate and proud to be a part of this organization. The new McCleary clinic is truly the icing on the cake!”
The public will have a chance to tour the new clinic prior to its opening at Summit Pacific’s McCleary Healthcare Clinic Unveiling Event scheduled for April 1 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. This event will be the first chance for the patients and the public to check out the new facility. Refreshments and light hors devours will be served. You can follow the project on Facebook or through their website’s News Portal.
Call Summit Pacific’s main gateway at 360-346-2222 with questions. Their knowledgeable staff strives to embody the values of passion, respect, integrity, compassion, and excellence in everything they do.