St. Charles Family Care Opening in La Pine

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St. Charles Family Care is on track to open a new facility in La Pine with a target opening date of Fall 2017.The land was donated by Deschutes County for St. Charles to develop a new hospital to better serve the needs of people south of Bend.

St. Charles has recently experienced expansions and renovations throughout Deschutes County in an effort to provide more convenient service throughout the county.

“We are excited to be partnering with the city of La Pine and want to be strong partners with the communities we serve. We will be working closely with the community. All of us are thinking about providing the best care for our clients in the right time and place for the next decade,” John Weinsheim, CEO of St. Charles Medical Group said.

St. Charles has recently announced plans for a new facility on the south side of Bend and will continue its expansion with the La Pine facility. The project is expected to cost nearly $5.5 million.

The St. Charles Foundation is working to raise funds for the project. The foundation supports capital projects for the not for profit health system and fundraising efforts are led by Executive Director Lisa Dobey. She is actively engaging in fundraising projects within the community.

St. Charles Medical Group has conducted research over the past two years identifying areas in Deschutes County in need of immediate care. They have worked with the La Pine Rural Fire Protection District to identify La Pine as a location in need. The fire district is responsible for many of the medical transport services which often require transportation to Bend.

With recent residential growth south of Sunriver including residents of Fort Rock and Christmas Valley there is an increasing population who would likely travel to Bend for medical support.

“Two years ago we began assessing current and future needs for all the counties we serve. We analyzed where our customers and patients are and where they are coming fromfor a better sense of where we should be providing services. We took the analysis and laid out a plan with consideration of expansion to south side of Bend and La Pine where there is a greater need,” Weinsheim said.

The St. Charles La Pine clinic will likely start small and grow with demand. They intend to begin with two or three primary care doctors and radiology and lab services.
St. Charles’ continued analysis over the past two years has revealed that many people south of Deschutes County use St. Charles primary care service on the east side of Bend.

In order to provide better and more immediate service St. Charles launched a plan to open a primary and urgent care center in south Bend at the corner of Third Street and Badger Road which is expected to open in the Fall of 2016.

Deschutes County has donated two acres to St. Charles Health System in La Pine near the Huntington Road and Memorial Lane intersection of La Pine. It is a donation intended to bring in St. Charles services for citizens near La Pine and for the economic development of the city.

“The land has been graciously donated by the county and it is a very attractive campus. We are working with Clark Kjos Architects but are just beginning designs. It will likely be a similar scaled down version of the Bend south design and we want to make sure it is a nice fit with the surroundings,” Weinsheim said.

The St. Charles clinic will be the second in the La Pine area joining the La Pine Community Health Center which is a nonprofit center that serves uninsured patients as well as those with private insurance.

“We intend to be a compliment to the services they provide to the community. We have a similar mission to provide services to people no matter who their payer is. Our intention is to provide services that are a net add to the community and we have similar service models. It is important for us to be able to provide more services closer to where people live and better long term preventative care. We also intend to reach out to patients from the clinic,” Weinsheim said.

St. Charles recent expansions are an effort to provide services throughout Deschutes County that are closer to where people live.

“What you’re seeing with our investment in primary care access is a broader role in engaging in health in Central Oregon. These strategies are the future of health care generally speaking and the future of care in Central Oregon. They are investments in population health management,” Weinsheim said.

St. Charles plans to continue working with La Pine city leadership and breakground on the project early next year.

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About Author

David Clewett CBN Feature Writer

David Clewett is a writer and fly fisherman based in Sunriver, Oregon. He is a freelance journalist and poet with his most recent book being publish in late 2016 and two more collections of poetry expected to publish by the end of 2017. He enjoys hiking into and fishing the nearby lakes and streams of the Cascades and draws most of his inspiration from the clean mountain air and wildlife.

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