Like Starbucks, Microsoft and Bill Nye the Science Guy, PacMed is a Northwest fixture. Since its humble beginnings as a Marine Service Hospital operating out of Seattle's Pacific Tower in the 1930s, (when it was called - appropriately enough - the Pacific Medical Center), the not-for-profit, multi-specialty healthcare network expanded to serve civilians and military alike, with a combined 13 primary and specialized healthcare facilities throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Correction: make that fourteen.
PacMed held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house for its new multi-specialty clinic in Lacey last Thursday. The new facility, in collaboration with Providence Medical Group, opened to patients early last month, so attendees were able to tour the new clinic while it was "up and running".
The improved access to standard and specialized healthcare services comes as a welcome boon to Thurston County residents, especially to the active-duty and retired military families who call it home. PacMed is the only US Family Health Plan (USFHP) healthcare provider on the west coast, so the new clinic provides both active-duty family members and retired military personnel in the county local access to healthcare on the Tricare system.
"We are just very excited to reach out into this community. We're new to Thurston County, and we're really excited to be able to bring them timely, quality patient care," said Jodi Larsen, practice manager for the Lacey and Lakewood clinics.
The newly renovated 30,000-square-foot building doesn't really look like a clinic at first glance. The exceptionally large foyer with its vaulted ceiling, (complete with tree trunk support columns for a touch of Northwest flavor), suggests that the new clinic might've been a church or convention center in its former life, but the truth is that it's always been a medical care facility - the building formerly housed the Providence St Peter Chemical Dependency Center and PMG-Lacey Multiservices Clinic. And although they had to suspend their inpatient care services to accommodate the new clinic, Providence continues to provide all of its outpatient care from the same location in addition to the host of new services that the PacMed clinic provides.
"We are blessed to partner with PacMed and expand our primary care base as we continue to serve and help build healthier communities, together," Providence Southwest Washington Chief Executive Medrice Coluccio said in a press release last month.
Providence downsizing its inpatient services made for more than a fair trade, since it allowed PacMed to offer a host of new services to the area while still offering care to chemical dependency patients. In addition to primary care, the new clinic also offers pediatric and OB/GYN services, urgent care, physical therapy, nutritional services, palliative care, diagnostic imaging and lab work.
It's just the latest in PacMed's expansion plans along the I-5 and I-405 corridors, (including another location in Lakewood, which opened earlier last year).
PacMed hopes to continue their expansion, with plans to open clinics in the Eastside and Kent areas over the next three years.
Pacific Medical Center - Lacey, 4800 College St. SE., Lacey, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, 360.486.2800, pacificmedicalcenters.org