From treating work-related injuries to offering preventative services such as drug testing and on-site workshops, Cascade Occupational Medicine promises to be there to meet the needs of both employers and their employees.
The new medical office, located at 63595 Hunnell Road, will open June 1 and include a large waiting area, six exam rooms for work-related injuries, two emergency bays and four physical therapy exam rooms. It is the first practice to focus solely on occupational medicine east of the Cascade Mountains.
Kasandra Reams, client services coordinator for Cascade Occupational Medicine, said this type of medical clinic can act as a valuable go-between in the event of a work-related injury.
“There’s a triangle to us because we understand all the aspects,” she said. “Once somebody is hurt they have an insurance company to deal with. When that’s worker’s compensation then the employer is involved, too, and we stay in the middle of all that. We try to make sure that everybody has communication on all sides and do what is best for each person, making sure that they get back to work quickly.”
Dr. Christopher DiGiulio is the only physician who will work at the clinic to start, along with a physical therapist. He said getting the patient back to work in a timely and safe manner is the most important goal.
“We are very, very aware of the value of getting a patient back to work,” he said. “A lot of clinics don’t do that, but we get our patients back to work with modified duties the next day almost 99 percent of the time. And what this does is it ultimately saves the employer money because we manage time loss issues while general practice clinics may not even consider them.”
Ongoing physical therapy and modified work duties also help the patient to feel better faster.
DiGiulio said the new clinic will include everything that’s needed to conduct stress, hearing and digital radiography tests, as well as provide emergency care.
“We are capable of taking care of most emergencies that would happen in a workplace,” he said. “If somebody falls off a ladder and breaks their arm, it’s perfectly appropriate to come and see us and that’s something I’m comfortable taking care of. You need sutures. You have a puncture wound. Whatever the issue may be, unless the person is so severely injured they are unconscious.”
Cascade Occupational Medicine also offers preventative care such as doing baseline audio testing for noise levels and making suggestions on how to make individual workplaces safer for employees.
Reams said they hope to reach out to other physicians and clinics in the community to offer referrals when there is an injury they can’t handle alone.
“We’re going to be partnering with some of the specialists here in town, such as the orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons because we will need to utilize them when somebody does come in with a broken arm and needs a pin,” she said. “They may need that surgery, but then those physicians don’t have to worry about the paper work. The patient comes back to us for follow-ups and we do the paperwork for them.”
DiGiulio said the owner of Cascade Occupational medicine owns five medical clinics and three physical therapy clinics in the Portland area. After several requests from major insurance companies, they decided to expand southeast.
Because there are no other strictly occupational medicine practices in the area, Reams said they chose a location that was nearer to workers than the hospital.
“We know there is going to be a lot of light industrial and other development in this area and the nice thing is it really makes it closer for some Redmond companies that need some extra care, too,” she said. “We’re away from the medical community over here and that’s mostly just because we’re different. We’re separate and we want to be closer to Redmond as well to make sure there’s an equal distance for people to drive.”
DiGiulio said one thing is for certain – Cascade Occupational Medicine is here to stay. More than $2 million has been spent to renovate the building and recruit and hire staff. He said he expects the clinic to grow.
“For now it will be just me and I’ll be the anchor physician,” he said. “But hopefully we’ll have this up and running and growing and in a year or so we’ll take a look at bringing on another physician.”
Reams said she is excited to see a clinic like this in Central Oregon.
“I’ve been doing occupational medicine for about 10 years,” she said. “It’s great to see somebody focusing 100 percent on occupational medicine because it gives me the tools to bring tools to the company. I get to take this whole tool belt and give it to the people here in town and say, here are some options.”
Information: 749-2043, 306-0135 or visit www.cascadeoccmed.com.