“This is the place that exemplifies what we wanted to happen when we created community based medical homes.”
Col. Michael Place
Commander, Madigan Army Medical Center
Puyallup Community Medical Home, a Madigan Army Medical Center community based medical home, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its newly expanded facility July 24.
“What a beautiful day — a great day for Army Medicine, a great day for Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Madigan Army Medical Center and, most importantly, it’s a great day for families of active-duty military and retirees, like myself, who call this facility our medical home,” said Marc Bernson, a physician assistant at the Puyallup Community Medical Home.
Aside from providing primary care, the Puyallup Community Medical Home offers a variety of services to active-duty family members, retirees and their families. Services include nutrition, clinical psychology, pharmacy, laboratory and immunizations.
To better serve its increasing number of patients, the Puyallup Community Medical Home developed a plan to not only increase square footage but also renovate current space so it could be used more efficiently.
Since its inception six years ago, the clinic’s floor plan was tight for services like pharmacy, laboratory and immunizations. The Puyallup Community Medical Home leadership decided to move forward with a renovation.
“Two years ago, knowing that we had some unbuilt space, we began the discussion to fix the immunization and lab area … which then led to a bigger lobby and so on,” said Eric Uhl, the clinic’s administrative officer.
Currently, enrollment has peaked to almost 9,000 patients which is the highest number since the clinic opened. Before the expansion project, the maximum enrollment capacity was 9,100 and now it is 12,000.
The Puyallup Community Medical Home has added 5,000 square feet to its facility which includes a physical therapy room, two additional windows at the pharmacy, more staff and extended hours of operation. The clinic is now open weekdays at 8:30 a.m., except for the third Wednesday of the month, when they have a late start (12:45 p.m.), until 6:30 p.m. — it closes Fridays at 5 p.m.
“Being able to accommodate our patients and expand our services is pretty amazing,” Uhl said. “We evolved rather than changed; we evolved for our patients.”
During the six-and-a-half-month renovation and expansion period, the Puyallup Community Medical Home was able to sustain high patient satisfaction rates and no rescheduled appointments or abbreviated schedules. Throughout construction, the staff remained calm and professional with the ongoing renovations.
“As a small group of 43 people, we all knew we had a mission to do. We picked each other up and we got through it together,” Uhl said. “It was a small but in-depth project because there are so many rules and regulations that are associated with construction on a facility that will be used as a medical clinic.”
The Puyallup Community Medical Home is one of two Madigan community medical homes in Washington and is setting the standard for Army community based medical homes. Last year, the U.S. Army Medical Command recognized Madigan’s Primary Care Service Line, to include the Puyallup Community Medical Home, for five “Best Practice” awards.
“This facility has been recognized repeatedly for the access, quality and services provided,” said Col. Michael Place, Madigan commander. “This is the place that exemplifies what we wanted to happen when we created community based medical homes.”
The Puyallup Community Medical Home expansion is only the beginning for Army community based medical homes and the ability to provide patients will excellent and convenient care.
“The idea was to provide a community medical home where our patients were and this is a vibrant community that does a lot to support the military community at Joint Base Lewis-McChord,” Place said. “We came out here to take another step in our journey for health care delivery for military and their families.”