La Clinica in The Dalles to have new building

— The Dalles — After more than 25 years of serving the Gorge community, La Clínica del Cariño Family Health Care Center today announced it will enter a new age of health care with the construction of a new Community Health Center in The Dalles. The state-of-the-art facility will expand access to primary health care and wellness services in an easily accessible location.

A groundbreaking celebration will take place Tuesday, May 29, from 10-11 a.m. at 1040 Webber Road in The Dalles. Featured guest speakers will be Sen. Jeff Merkley, as well as comments from Oregon Rep. John Huffman; Brian Ahier, president, The Dalles City Council; Barbara Seatter, executive director, Mid-Columbia Center for Living; and other community partners and La Clínica’s representatives and staff.

La Clínica is a nonprofit Community and Migrant Health Center, serving people in the Columbia River Gorge area. It opened its doors in The Dalles in 2003, providing medical, dental and health promotion services in a leased 5,500-square-foot facility. Due to increased demand for services, La Clínica’s current building does not provide sufficient capacity to properly accommodate comprehensive primary care and preventive services.

In October 2010, La Clínica received a capital improvement grant from the federal Health Resources Services Administration of $5.86 million to construct a new Community Health Center in The Dalles.

The new Health Center will provide area residents in Oregon and Washington with an easily accessible facility that conveniently integrates heath services in one location including medical, dental, behavioral, health promotion, pharmacy and lab. Health education and wellness will be promoted in a large, dividable conference room on the main level and two group meeting rooms on either end of the second floor.

Lobby spaces and waiting rooms are located to take full advantage of views north to the Columbia River, integrating patients with the natural environment and its healing effects.

The building site consists of 52,252 square feet of open land in the corner of a medical campus serving community members of Wasco County in Oregon and Klickitat County in Washington.

Site work will include a 76-space parking lot, landscaping and a pedestrian plaza.

The 20,800-square-foot facility will replace a much smaller outdated clinic and allow the organization to double its current capacity to address the community’s future growth needs. The two-story wood-framed building will be clad in a combination of Columbia River basalt, wood and fiber cement siding.

The facility is targeting LEED silver certification and was engineered to be over 20 percent more energy-efficient than required by code. The design also include sustainable features such as high-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning, plentiful but moderated natural day lighting, non-toxic and renewable materials and on-site stormwater treatment.

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