Hospitals partner on Smokey Point clinic

SMOKEY POINT — Construction is under way at Smokey Point on a new two-story, 42,000-square-foot Cascade Skagit Health Alliance medical facility, due to open in spring 2012 to provide increased services to north Snohomish and south Skagit counties.

Two public hospital districts, Cascade

Valley Hospital & Clinics in Arlington and Skagit Valley Hospital in Mount Vernon, are building the $12.2 million project. Andy Hall of Botesch, Nash & Hall in Everett is the architect and Synergy Construction Co. of Woodinville is the general contractor.

The hospitals have worked together on past projects, including the Skagit Valley Hospital Regional Cancer Care Center at Cascade Valley in Arlington in 2007.

Physicians at the new multispecialty clinic will include primary care providers plus cardiology and gastroenterology specialists.

Also, the facility will have diagnostic imaging services, including MRI, X-ray, CT and ultrasound, laboratory and urgent care services, plus a branch of Arlington Pharmacy.

Cascade Valley Hospital has operated a physicians’ clinic in Smokey Point for 18 years but it has outgrown its space in the Cumulus Office Park on Smokey Point Boulevard, southeast of the I-5 interchange at 172nd Street NE.

The new building, being built on the north side of 172nd Street NE opposite the Safeway shopping center and the new Walmart, will provide enhanced space and increased services for the growing Arlington area.

“This is a real growth area,” said Clark Jones, chief executive of Cascade Valley Hospital and Clinics. “We’ve already run out of space in our clinic there. Fortunately, we bought this property eight or nine years ago with the intention of building when we needed to expand.”

There are certain needed medical specialties that are not available in Arlington because there aren’t enough people to support them, he said, but with the partnership of the two hospitals and the new building, many of those specialty services can be provided.

Gregg Davidson, CEO of Skagit Valley Hospital, said that collaboration between the two hospitals would provide more doctors and specialties, benefiting the whole north Snohomish County area.

“We are very excited about this project and this opportunity to work together,” he said. “We have had Skagit Valley Hospital clinics for many years in Stanwood and on Camano Island so this project becomes a natural extension of those efforts to better serve the area’s medical needs.”

Even before the new center is completed, Skagit Valley Hospital has scheduled cardiologist visits to temporary offices at Smokey Point a couple of days each week, he said.

Skagit Valley Hospital has been seeing significant growth in recent years. In July 2010, it merged with Skagit Valley Medical Center and its nearly 100 health-care providers, including specialists in cardiology, dermatology and pediatrics.

Cascade Valley Hospital community relations director Kelly Penny said the partnership with Skagit Valley Hospital will be “great for our community because we will have more services available without people having to leave the area. … Between the two hospitals we have a lot of community service ideas and more ability to provide additional care. … We’re partnering, but nobody is taking anybody else over.”

“The new facility will have room for 24 physicians and lots of room for growth,” Jones said, adding that Skagit Valley Hospital’s cancer program will move from Cascade Valley Hospital to the new Health Alliance building.

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.

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