Mountain Park Health Center hosted the grand opening of its newest facility in Tempe this morning, in an effort to promote local wellness that’s affordable for all.
According to a press release, the 32,000 square foot building will triple the number of patients they were able to serve at their former Tempe location.
The health care market faces uncertain times. With premiums on the rise for many Americans and the future of the Affordable Care Act still unknown, Mountain Park Health Center’s sliding scale payment system allows residents to receive treatment for pediatrics, women’s health and wellness counseling.
Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell attended and spoke in front of dozens of attendees. He lauded the efforts of Mountain Park and the new health center.
“Mountain Park’s model of patient centered medical care is desperately needed not only in this part of town, but our whole region,” Mitchell said. “It’s important that they’ll see anybody, regardless of their income or ability to pay.”
Though the opening ceremony took place today, the center began serving the public on May 15.
Nikki Harkins came in for a follow-up appointment today. Harkins, a 51-year-old Tempe resident, said she received treatment at the old facility, which was located next to Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital. She said the new location is a huge upgrade.
“This is absolutely amazing. It’s really beautiful and huge,” Harkins said. “It’s really fast compared to the old place. It has a lot more rooms available.”
The clinic has 46 exam rooms, and the increase in size allowed Mountain Park to add 80 more members to its Tempe staff.
Funding for the project came from Mountain Park revenue, government subsidies and a large monetary contribution from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a non-profit that specializes in community development.
Mountain Park CEO Dr. John Swagert said that one of the goals of the clinic is to give people ownership of their own health care. According to Dr. Swagert, that means educating residents on how to live healthy and focusing on disease prevention.
Dr. Keith Lindor, Senior Advisor of the College of Health Solutions at Arizona State University, said that Mountain Park’s philosophy offers a glimpse at the future of health care.
“The focus is on not only health care, which is the clinic part, but also health,” Dr. Lindor said. “That’s probably the direction we as a society need to be moving, more direct intervention to lead to a healthier population. They’ve been great leaders in this area.”
Harkins said illness prevention was a big part of the treatment she received.
“Every time I’m here they send in either a nutritionist or a mental health person,” Harkins said. “They have a lot of different areas with specialists who will come in and talk to you.”
Mountain Park Health Center has been serving the Phoenix area for more than 30 years. The Tempe clinic is the newest of eight locations.