Over the next few months, St. Charles Health System will open two new primary care clinics to serve patients in Central Oregon. St. Charles Family Care – Sisters is set to open mid-summer and St. Charles Family Care – Bend will open in the fall.
Like the St. Charles Family Care clinics in Redmond and Prineville, the Bend and Sisters clinics will serve all patients regardless of their insurance coverage or ability to pay for services.
“We are excited to announce this next important step in our development of an integrated health care delivery system,” said Jim Diegel, president and CEO of St. Charles Health System. “By focusing on primary care in all communities that we serve and providing a medical home for patients, we are laying the groundwork for a system that will provide better care and promote better health at lower costs.”
To staff these clinics, St. Charles has hired four primary care physicians. Dr. Joseph Bachtold, a family practice physician who has worked in Central Oregon for ten years in John Day and in Sisters, and Dr. Steven Greer, a fellow Central Oregon veteran and former president of the St. Charles Bend medical staff, will provide services for both new clinics.
Two physicians who are new to the area, Drs. Mark Gonsky and Meghan Brecke, will join Bachtold and Greer at the Bend clinic. Both Gonsky and Brecke are interested in providing care in a medical home model setting like the St. Charles Family Care clinics are striving to create.
Greer has spent the past four years in Alaska working on a collaborative project with Indian Health Services and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to develop a medical home that incorporates behavioral health, pharmacy, nurse case managers and others to provide comprehensive care. The clinic successfully improved continuity of care.
“This kind of concept of bringing the patients in and giving them a more comprehensive experience in their medical home, can hopefully improve their overall health and keep them healthy,” Greer said. “It’s not a panacea but hopefully it’s one step toward lowering costs and improving care.”