Cambria residents could receive services from an OB/GYN, an endocrinologist or a neurologist locally in 2018. It all depends on what the community needs.
That was part of the message brought to Cambria by Brenda Reynolds, whose medical group will be setting up shop on Main Street in the first quarter of next year.
A group of about 65 to 70 people gathered at the Cambria Veterans Memorial Building on Wednesday, Sept. 13, to hear an update on the project by First California Physician Partners (FCPP). The Tenet-owned group will occupy the ground floor of the Cambria Medical Building, 2150 Main St. in the East Village next year.
Reynolds, building owner John Linn and Ron Yukelson of Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center answered a range of questions on services, insurance and the project’s timetable, among other things.
“We really do come in as part of the community,” Reynolds said, adding that FCPP’s offices in Cambria will be staffed by the same full-time physician on a consistent basis; different primary care doctors won’t rotate in.
Several interviews with prospective physicians already have been conducted. Reynolds, FCPP’s market operations director, said Cambria’s doctor will be “heavier on the internal medicine side, but at the same time be able to see someone who is 16.”
She said the office will be staffed by the doctor and a nurse practitioner, but other services may also be added.
Reynolds mentioned that FCPP offers specialists in such areas as obstetrics/gynecology; ear, nose and throat; neurology and endocrinology, as well as registered dietitians and diabetic educators. Which services are provided locally will depend on the community’s demand.
“If you use it, we will have it here,” Yukelson said.
Hours, too, will be tailored to the community’s needs, Reynolds added: “What hours do you want us here? Our hours vary depend on the community we’re in.”
At the outset, she said, the hours would probably include one Saturday half-day each month, with the office likely opening early and staying open into the early evening weekdays at the outset. Those hours will be re-evaluated based on the community’s response in the first few weeks.
Reynolds is looking to open the clinic during the first quarter of next year, “hopefully earlier than later.”
Linn said the architect is in the process of getting the new tenant’s specs on the building for such things as cabinetry, doors and floor coverings. Then, the plans will be submitted to the county, where he expects the approval process to take four to six weeks.
The lab will continue to operate during the construction process, he said, adding that most of the first-floor tenants had already vacated the building (a hair studio and massage business remain).
“At its inception, that building was all medical,” said Linn, who purchased the site in 2004. He added that he was excited to “get it back to its original purpose: It will be fully medical from here on out.”
If you use it, we will have it here.
Ron Yukelson on medical services at Cambria’s new office, to open next year
Other matters discussed at the Q&A session included:
Insurance: FCPP takes “everything that is out there,” including Medicare, CenCal Health, military plans and Medi-Cal, Reynolds said. It even contracts with Kaiser. The only exception Reynolds cited was Physician’s Choice, a product of Dignity Health.
Education: Reynolds said FCPP plans health talks, possibly on a quarterly basis, on such topics as flu prevention and senior nutrition. In addition, an open house (possibly from 4 to 7 p.m.) to show off the facility and meet the staff is planned once the office is open.
Mission: The office will be a primary care facility, rather than an urgent care, Reynolds said. Walk-ins will be welcome, and appointment times will be honored: “If you have a 1 o’clock appointment, it’s going to be pretty close to that 1 o’clock when you’re seen.”
Access: Reynolds said a web-based patient portal will give patients access to their medical records, their doctor’s biography and a list of FCPP community events. Patients will also be able to ask their doctor questions or request prescription refills, she said.
Other services: While FCPP does not offer ophthalmology or optometry services, Reynolds said it partners with providers that do. She added that she’s also working to expand psychiatric services.
FCPP started with three locations and now has 11, according to Brenda Reynolds, market operations director. Other county sites include Heritage Ranch, Paso Robles, Templeton, Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Pismo Ranch and Nipomo. FCPP also has sites in the Central Valley and Southern California. Online: ourcentralcoastdoctors.com. Phone: 805-395-FCPP