Vancouver Clinic prepares for the future

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Since 1936, the Vancouver Clinic has worked to keep Clark County residents healthy. Now, with seven locations all over the county, the Vancouver Clinic is helping residents in many different areas with their health needs. 

The clinic’s 87th Avenue Physical Therapy Center recently opened up down the street in its own building. At 5,500 square feet, the move offers room to double the size of the physical therapy clinic and will “significantly increase” the gym space for exercises. 

Alfred Seekamp, the chief medical officer for the Vancouver Clinic, praised the location change because the old location was on the third floor and the new one is “much more accessible” for physical therapy clients. 

“We’ve grown a lot at 87th, our branch right by PeaceHealth,” Seekamp said. “We needed to use that space (at the old location) for other clinical opportunities, and truthfully, our physical therapies have been growing and needed more elbow room. Giving them their own location seemed to make sense.”

The new location will have three staff members and six providers at the location with capacity for 10 providers as the physical therapy practice grows. In addition to the new location on Mill Plain, physical therapy is still offered at Vancouver Clinic locations in Salmon Creek, Columbia Tech Center and Battle Ground. 

In addition to the new location, the Vancouver Clinic is looking toward the future in a post-COVID-19 world. According to Seekamp, the clinic is doing “everything it needs to” ensure the health and safety of the Clark County population and the employees of the Vancouver Clinic. Seekamp explained that, along with requiring temperature checks of all clinical staff, all clients and staff are required to wear medical grade masks.

According to Seekamp and the Vancouver Clinic, if patients do not have a medical grade mask upon arrival to the clinic, one will be provided for them. Along with this, if a patient has another person with them, the guest will also be required to wear a medical grade mask. 

“We don’t just allow cloth masks because there’s enough data to support that the medical grade masks are superior and this is a clinical environment, so there can be people around who have serious medical conditions,” Seekamp explained. “We want to do our absolute best to protect them.” 

Seekamp explained that the new protocols will be in place for the foreseeable future. 

Along with in-person clinical care, the clinic is expanding its telehealth services to offer medical care over the phone and internet. Seekamp said having all these safety protocols in place are just ways to protect the community from infection. 

During the pandemic, the Vancouver Clinic has been partnering with Clark County Public Health to test and screen areas where large outbreaks have occurred. The Vancouver Clinic did a majority of the testing of workers and families after the Firestone Foods outbreak occurred earlier this month. Along with testing in large outbreak zones, Seekamp said the clinic is still testing the general public if they come in with symptoms. 

“Urgent care is our best portal to access (coronavirus) testing,” Seekamp said. “We have urgent care at all of our clinical locations, including Battle Ground and Ridgefield.”

All Vancouver Clinic locations are currently open for their regular hours. More information about the Vancouver Clinic and its COVID-19 protocols can be found at tvc.org/coronavirus/.

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