Cornelius Wellness Center
As you pass the block where the Virginia Garcia’s Cornelius Wellness Center is being built, you see the framework for the future – in more ways than one. Not only is the center a model for innovation, green technology and design; it is a model for comprehensive health care delivery and wellness. A ceremony marking the completion and opening of the Center will take place on October 19, 2012.
"The whole community is anticipating the opening of the wellness center,” said Primavera Armendariz, clinic manager, VG Cornelius. “We’ve had so much support both for the design of the center and in what we will offer our patients that it truly feels like a community effort.”
First and foremost, the wellness center is designed with the patient in mind. The ground floor reception area will be staffed by volunteers to welcome people to the Center. A library stocked with literature on nutrition and exercise will encourage patients to read about healthy lifestyles while they are waiting. The ground floor will also have classrooms for wellness education and a full teaching kitchen for classes in healthy cooking. “Our wellness program ‘Reclaiming Your Health’ will be up and running as soon as the new center opens,” said Armendariz. “The exam rooms will be on the second floor so that the first floor is dedicated to education.”
The second floor is designed to accommodate the integrated, team-based care that Virginia Garcia practices. Physicians, nurses, behavioral health specialists and care coordinators will work in shared space so they can confer on best care options for their patients. For patients who can benefit from better disease management and lifestyle changes, providers can refer them to classes that take place right there at the wellness center. “By having teams decide how to treat patients and manage their health, we can focus on the best use of our providers and their time,” noted Armendariz.
A key ingredient in the successful transition – from the old Cornelius clinic, to a temporary location in Forest Grove during construction, to the new Cornelius Wellness Center – has been a patient committee. Virginia Garcia solicited input from patients on how to inform the community about the move and also to be the “voice of the customer” in planning for the new center. The committee is made up of patients, provider team members, Virginia Garcia executives and support staff and has been meeting monthly for the past year. “It’s a very diverse group,” said Armendariz. “Input from the patient committee helps us to be intentional about our patient centered model.”
One of the innovations devised by the patient committee is a more streamlined way for new patient intake. “We’ve always had a bottleneck whenever we open the clinic to new patients,” said Armendariz. “We came up with a system where a new patient meets first with an intake specialist to get all their data entered in an electronic medical record. Then they meet with their provider team. We piloted this in Cornelius and patients have been very satisfied. We also plan to begin group orientations -- a more efficient way to introduce new patients to the services and classes we provide.”
The infrastructure for the Cornelius Wellness Center is taking shape both physically and operationally, according to Armendariz. “We’ve had this vision for a long time and now it’s coming true.”
Now that the Cornelius Wellness Center has been completed, the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation is seeking financial support for the variety of wellness programs that will be offered there. You can help these programs succeed by making a donation today. Just click the Donate link at the top of the page.