One Community Health (OCH) will break ground Thursday to replace its current health center in Hood River.
The groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremony, an invitation open to the public, takes place from 9:30-10 a.m. at 849 Pacific Ave.
The future facility will be located just east of the current Hood River site and on the same property, which has served as OCH’s Hood River home since 1991.
According to a press release, the health center in Hood River has continuously evolved to respond to the growing demands of whole-person health for nearly three decades, offering dental care, residency, population health, mental/behavioral health and substance use programs. While all the enhancements around types of care and access to care have been incredibly beneficial for its patients throughout the Columbia River Gorge, OCH has long outgrown its current physical and operational space.
It needs a more modern, proactively designed health center to support its team-based approach to whole-person health care, not to mention plans for additional growth in staffing and services, said a press release.
“This building will be unlike any community health center in the nation, and we’re looking forward to sharing exactly why that is at our groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting celebration,” said Dave Edwards, CEO. “The planning and design behind this building has been several years in the making, and we’re thrilled to have the approval from our board of directors and the City of Hood River to officially move forward with the groundbreaking and construction.”
Scott Edwards Architecture, the same firm that designed OCH’s building in The Dalles, has drawn up the sketches for the Hood River replacement site. However, unlike the The Dalles facility, which was grant-funded by Health Resources and Services Administration, OCH’s new facility in Hood River is funded by a United States Department of Agriculture loan.
“In light of our phenomenal growth, it’s become tough for our highly trained providers and staff to work in a space that was built 30 years ago and is dated, aesthetically and functionally,” Edwards said. “The low-interest loan makes this historic project more affordable. We appreciate the tremendous support and partnership of Key Bank for our interim (or construction) financing. We are also grateful to the USDA for our long-term financing. Without this support, the new building would not be possible. While the loans have to be paid back, we sincerely believe that as more people grasp the vision and impact of the project, donations and grants will help offset more of the costs.”
As OCH’s mission is to advance health and social justice for all members of our community, this upcoming groundbreaking and ribbon-cutting ceremony is an open invitation for all community members to come and join in on the celebration, said a press release.
One Community Health (OCH) is a nonprofit, Federally Qualified Health Center with locations in The Dalles and Hood River. Formerly known as La Clínica del Cariño Family Health Care Center, Inc., it was founded in 1986 and has evolved into an official Patient-Centered Primary Care Home. OCH currently provides services to more than 12,000 patients. Dedicated to advancing health and social justice for all its community members, OCH serves patients from the Mid-Columbia River Gorge Region: Wasco, Hood River, Klickitat and Skamania counties. To donate or for more information, visit the OCH website.