Non-Profit Medical Care Provider Looks to Expand After Acquisition of 24,000 Square Foot Facility
After a year scouring the Tri-Valley for a new location, Axis Community Health found the perfect spot for its new home right here in Hacienda, purchasing a 24,000-square-foot facility at 5925 W. Las Positas Blvd. in December 2011. Plans to transform the warehouse-like space into a welcoming, comfortable, light-filled medical facility will begin in a few months with the selection of an architect. Construction will start in spring 2013, with move-in slated for early 2014, reports Axis CEO Sue Compton.
The impetus for the expansion, which is twice the size of the present Axis location on Railroad Avenue in Pleasanton, is the projected need to double patient capacity.
"Axis is the only provider of medical care for low-income and uninsured residents of the Tri-Valley, and more than 450 new medical patients are coming to us for primary care each month," says Compton. "We are operating at full capacity in our two medical clinics-our main site in Pleasanton and our satellite clinic in Livermore. We presently have 11,000 medical patients and expect to serve 20,000 patients by 2014."
Market studies indicate this upward trend will continue due to three factors, Compton continues, citing "the growing population in the Tri-Valley (a 22 percent increase in 10 years); the economic downturn that has left more Tri-Valley families in need of access to affordable, quality primary care; and changes in the healthcare delivery system."
In addition to accommodating the anticipated patient influx, the more spacious Hacienda clinic will enable Axis to further advance the concept of the medical home "where the whole person is taken care of," Compton explains. Axis has already implemented parts of that model, but with constraints due to current space limitations.
The vision is to create a kind of "one-stop-shop" that delivers a full complement of services, such as medical care, behavioral health counseling, and case management. The advantages for patients, especially those with chronic diseases like diabetes and asthma, are considerable. For example, diabetics are susceptible to several lifestyle factors that can affect their health, be it exercise, alcohol consumption, or poor nutrition. "So many pieces come into play," Compton observes. "If we can provide support with case management, substance abuse or mental health counseling, and a dietician, their health improves, which is good for them and good for the community."
Similarly, when the parents of an asthmatic child stop smoking, there is a major drop in the incidence of hospitalizations, not to mention decreased costs. "Smoking is probably the biggest risk factor in terms of causing asthma attacks," she points out. "We have a smoking cessation program, another part of providing a medical home."
With the location secured, Compton is looking forward to a clinic that will house roughly 24 exam rooms, three procedure rooms, a pharmacy, and space for patient education and other ancillary services. "It was the right time to be a buyer in this market," she comments, "and we look forward to being a part of the Hacienda community." Axis's Livermore clinic, behavioral health, and WIC nutrition program sites will remain at their current locations.
This summer Axis will begin a capital campaign to fund renovation of the new facility. "We've already received tremendous interest from the community, and we hope to work with everyone who wants to be part of this exciting project," Compton says. To find out more, visit www.axishealth.org .
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