The smell of fresh paint wafted through the shiny waiting room inside Barton’s Community Clinic Thursday.
The facility recently underwent a $2 million renovation and Barton Health will host a grand re-opening for the clinic Saturday. The new improvements align the hospital to better handle future changes in health care.
“It’s going to offer us the opportunity to provide more services as health care reform comes,” said Debbie McCarthy, Barton’s outpatient clinical director. “It means more availability for the community.”
The renovation expanded the clinic, which will soon be renamed the Barton Community Health Center. Started in 2012, construction added 3,000 square feet and seven new patient rooms to the building.
“We want people to feel welcome when they come in the door,” McCarthy said. “Our rooms have been remodeled. They’re clean. They’re nicer.”
The center will offer services from physical examinations and child check-ups to diagnosis and treatment of acute medical problems. The facility will also have specialty services including prenatal obstetrics, family medicine, family planning, general surgery, adolescent psychiatry and rheumatology.
Upgrades include improvements to the center’s telemedicine room, which allows patients to connect to a physician remotely from a designated room in the community clinic. A new entrance was added as well as an expansion to the waiting room. Part of the change will be a renewed focus on preventative care, McCarthy said.
“Our focus is going to change from a business of being ill to a business of being well,” she said.
McCarthy said there’s still a lot of opportunity with the facility. Preventative care options like having a gym or meditation classes or yoga classes or courses on nutrition are all under consideration.
“Right now, anything is open,” McCarthy said.
Barton Health will celebrate the re-opening of the Barton Community Clinic on Saturday. Festivities will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony, tours, complimentary food and refreshments and free health screenings.
In the past, Barton Community Clinic has primarily served the uninsured and underserved population in South Lake Tahoe. The renovation reinforces the center’s ability to do that, said Barton Health spokeswoman Rebecca Wass.
“The old facility was run down,” Wass said. “It was definitely time.”