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A brand new healthcare facility, owned by PeaceHealth, is opening its doors in Lynden on April 15 to better serve north and east Whatcom County residents and answer the growing demand for robust healthcare services. WhatcomTalk recently sat down with some of the key players in the process of bringing the new building to town.

In With the New

Rachel Lucy, director of community health for PeaceHealth, recalls the start of the project back in 2017 after the Lynden City Council and mayor expressed a need for greater healthcare services in town.

“Once we made the case to expand PeaceHealth services in Lynden and had committed funding for the construction, what really made a difference were the conversations we had sitting down with PeaceHealth and city leadership,” she says. “It just kept coming back to this being a real need in the community. People shared their lived experienced having to drive 25 minutes in either direction to get access to care and that was powerful.”

The new PeaceHealth clinic allows for many north and east Whatcom communities to receive greater healthcare in closer proximity to home. Photo courtesy PeaceHealth

Beyond Lynden, the new facility will better serve patients from many eastern Whatcom communities, such as Sumas, Everson, Nooksack and Kendall. However, the Lynden community itself played an integral role in successfully breaking ground for the site.

“We gathered with 100 community members in February 2020 and it was a small group of Lynden High School students that helped lead us through a conversation about the vision for a healthy future in Lynden,” Lucy says. “Greater healthcare access was certainly one aspect of the vision, but community members also care about mental health, access to vital supports like food and housing, and healthy activities.”

New and Expanded Services

PeaceHealth Director of Operations for Primary Care, Dan Lackey notes the versatility of the brand-new facility, and the opportunities an expanded range of services will bring.

“This is a multi-specialty clinic,” he says. “There’s the primary care and the specialty care side of the building; primary care will cover family practice, internal medicine, and pediatrics. Then, we’ll also have a same day walk-in clinic available. On the specialty care side, we’ll have OB-GYN, orthopedics and cardiology services available at this location. We will have some integrated services there, as well, with Mount Baker Imaging and on-site lab service with Quest Diagnostics.”

The new Lynden PeaceHealth clinic will feature expanded service access and more healthcare opportunities. Photo courtesy PeaceHealth

“We will be moving both our PHMG orthopedic and obstetrics and gynecology clinics from their current locations on Grover Street to the new Benson Road location. It will take a little bit of time, but we eventually plan to have two providers from each of these clinics working daily in Lynden,” says Julie Bromet, Director of Operations for Obstetrics, Gynecology and Midwifery.

“Our OB-GYN clinic will be open for routine gynecology care, wellness exams and OB patients. We will have both physicians and midwives providing care at this location regularly. We will also be offering non-stress tests at this new site,” she says. “The orthopedic clinic will be providing surgery consults, pre-op and post-op care, as well as non-operative care for orthopedic conditions. All the orthopedic providers will be rotating to this site. Cardiology will be providing one clinic day per week for both new patients and follow-up visits. In addition, cardiology will also be providing echocardiography services one day per week,” says Bromet.

Sustainable Practices and LEED Design

In addition to expanded services and healthcare opportunities, the new site is also a showcase of environmental responsibility and community partnership.

“We built this facility from the ground up with a commitment to make this an environmentally sound building,” says PeaceHealth Sustainability Lead Brian Nelson. “Lynden will be our first building for PeaceHealth that will be LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) — it’s the world’s most widely used framework that helps define how buildings can be greener.”

Inside and out, PeaceHealth promotes green initiatives and helps educate both patients and staff on environmental sustainability. Photo courtesy PeaceHealth

The building boasts 162 solar panels on the roof, which will help offset a quarter of the facility’s energy demand, and the team designed water to flow through foliage on the site to help filter runoff. “It gets filtered naturally through native plants and greenery so we’re not allowing polluted water to flow into our local waterways,” Nelson says.

On the inside, PeaceHealth worked diligently to align the 24,393 square-foot building’s interior design with their sustainability initiative, while also helping support local commerce.

“We looked at everything from a green-building perspective from the materials that we used for construction down to some of the things like the doors, for instance,” says Nelson. “We used a local vendor to manufacture those. We’ve tried to try to keep things local and use green materials both inside and out. As a way of educating both staff and patients, we will have signage on campus so people can walk by and check out the cool things we included, from an environmental perspective.”

The clinic’s outdoor water filtration utilizes healthy plant filtering to avoid polluting waterways with runoff. Photo courtesy PeaceHealth

The facility uses low-flow water devices, zero VOC paints, energy-efficient lighting and equipment and features strong recycling capabilities.

Additionally, the Lynden clinic will feature artwork from local artists, thanks to a generous grant of $65,000 from the Hank and Elanor Jansen Foundation. The artwork was selected from the Jansen Art Center in Lynden.

“We are thrilled to have the support of the Hank and Eleanor Jansen Foundation for the artwork,” said Amber Asbjornsen, chief philanthropy officer for the PeaceHealth Northwest network.

PeaceHealth’s newest healthcare facility will open on April 15 for patients, with a grand opening celebration on May 16, from 4:30–6:30 p.m., inviting the community to tour the new site.

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