Nurse caring for patient in Hanford clinic

Our clinics are the community
Story 15

Kerry Cromwell: If there were no community clinics, I think that a lot of our people would get lost in a confusing system.

Because medicine and being an advocate for yourself is a really hard thing, especially if you don't speak the language or you don't understand the system.

And I think having clinics offer a consistency to no matter where they are, they know what to expect.

Andrew Jahn: Today, I'm blessed and excited to be in our Hanford rural health clinic. This clinic alone, is on pace to treat over a 100,000 individuals in this community, this year.

Raul Ayala: This is one of the 39 rural health clinics, and one of the 60 clinical services within our ambulatory setting.

Andrew Jahn: Adventist Health Hanford's rural health clinic is part of a network of clinics that Adventist Health operates that will treat over a million patients this year. To put that in context, we take care of about 200,000 individuals a year inside an acute care hospital. Our clinic structure has an opportunity to see five times as many individuals, which means we make five times the impact in the communities that we serve.

Kerry Cromwell: So what we do here at the clinic is to the advantage of the patient, because we partner with them in their daily management of their illnesses, to where it doesn't become exacerbated so that they're not in the hospital, which can interrupt their entire life.

Stan Plooy: I've been working with the complex care clinic for about four years. It is unique to have a chaplain at a clinic. And from the very beginning, some of the patients that I first met, I still get to see them even today. I just love learning about people, because everyone has a story.

Raul Ayala: Where we are in this clinic, geographically, right behind this clinic is a school and right in front of this clinic to the west side, there's a park. We can see everyone. And again, it’s having the ability to see patients for their medical issues, whether that's walking into any of our clinics, whether it's a behavioral issue or a dental issue. We have services here from both primary care and specialty, and we open at 7:00 and we don't finish until 9:00 at night. And that's seven days a week.

Douglas Talk: I think that the clinical setting is where we as physicians can have the greatest impact on patients. Like Hippocrates said, "It's much easier to prevent an illness than it is to treat it." And so, when patients come to see me, it gives me an opportunity to do what I think our primary job as a physician is, and that is to teach. It's a new day of medicine. Patients don't want to come to a doctor and have them tell them what's wrong with them. And then tell them, "This is what you do. You do A, B and C and follow back up in four weeks." Patients want to be informed.

Andrew Jahn: Our clinic network gives Adventist Health a platform to leverage the power of the physician-patient relationship. That relationship gives us the opportunity to influence individuals in our community to live longer, healthier lives.

Raul Ayala: Our clinics are somewhat sanctuaries, and they're sanctuaries of health, and they're sanctuaries of well-being, and a place where I know somebody is going to help me. And so that's what draws me here. That's why I am so happy to do what I do every day.

Douglas Talk: They always say to physicians when you're in training, "Remember that you are part of a community. Remember to be part of a community." I think here we're more than that. I don't think we're just part of a community. Our clinic is the community. The providers, the MAs, the nurses, they go to church with these patients. They give us food at the grocery store and service in restaurants and fix our cars. They're family members and friends. They're patients we see on a daily basis. And so when those patients come in, it's not just somebody coming in for an OB appointment. It's someone who's coming in, who I want to know how their daughter Jessica is doing. I want to know how their husband who's been hospitalized with coronavirus, how he's doing. We are community. Adventist Health is not a part of the community. Adventist Health is the community. And because of that, I think we can provide a service, a closeness, a quality of care that you would not get somewhere else.