Cascade Valley, Skagit Valley hospitals join forces

By John Wolcott Snohomish County Business Journal

SMOKEY POINT — The recognized strength and efficiency of health-care industry mergers is proving itself once again with the opening of the new Cascade Skagit Health Alliance medical center at in Arlington.

Built on the north side of 172nd Street NE, east of Smokey Point Boulevard, the two-story facility opened last month to provide a broader range of health-care services for a growing and aging population in north Snohomish County.

Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics of Arlington and Skagit Valley Hospital of Mount Vernon in Skagit County built the $12.2 million medical center. Andy Hall of Botesch, Nash &Hall in Everett was the architect, and Synergy Construction Co. of Woodinville was the general contractor.

Rapid growth in the area in recent years made a former physicians’ clinic space at Smokey Point, in the Cumulus Office Park on Smokey Point Boulevard, a cramped space for medical staff.

With more than 31,000 patient visits a year at the clinic, staff had to function in 9,000 square feet of space. Moving to the new 42,000-square-foot facility provides much-needed room that accommodates additional staff, services and state-of-the-art medical equipment.

“This is a full-service ambulatory facility that also offers urgent care, extensive lab and imaging facilities and will also bring occupational therapy back to the community, a service that’s been missing for some time,” said Clark Jones, CEO of Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics.

“Working with Skagit Valley Hospital, we’ll have specialists from there, too, as well as more Cascade Valley primary-care physicians, reconstructive surgery and, later on, even neurology,” he said. “We bought this land around 2003, knowing someday we’d need a larger clinic here. There’s space for up to 30 physicians and medical staff, although we won’t open with quite that many.”

The new center also offers patient access to cardiologists and Skagit Valley Hospital’s cancer-care service, which has been located at Cascade Hospital for several years, Jones said.

Gregg Davidson, CEO of Skagit Valley Hospital, described the new health-care center as “a positive step forward for providing primary and specialized medical services. We’ve been working together with Cascade Valley Hospital for several years and have close relationships with them, which is a real advantage that helps us to provide better health care.”

For several years, Skagit Valley Hospital has had specialists working in the Arlington area, Davidson noted. The new facility will introduce cardiologists, gastroenterology specialists and other sub-specialties that haven’t been available in the area before.

“It’s really a win-win situation for patients of both organizations. This is a beautiful, state-of-the-art facility,” Davidson said.

The latest diagnostic imaging services, including MRI, X-ray, CT and ultrasound, will be available, along with a laboratory, urgent-care services and a branch of the Arlington Pharmacy.

Jones said the facility will have electronic medical-records storage and indexing so physicians in the new facility, the clinics and the two hospitals will have immediate access to patients’ information through a secure network.

The new facility, open seven days a week, has 58 primary-care exam rooms and 10 rooms for walk-in patients, compared to only 17 exam rooms at the Cumulus Office Park facility.

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