Port Ludlow clinic opens today

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT LUDLOW — Dr. Melanie McGrory was in her element during an open house last week for Jefferson Healthcare’s new clinic that opens today.

“My job here is to keep you out of this office,” she told two elderly visitors as she counseled them on preventive care Friday. “Now watch your step.”

The open house at Jefferson Healthcare’s Port Ludlow Clinic at 9481 Oak Bay Road drew about 100 people to inspect the premises — which has a step just outside the front door.

The clinic hopes to provide both preventive and emergency care for people who previously had to travel to Port Townsend or Poulsbo for walk-in services.

“If someone thinks they are having a heart attack, they will want to go to the emergency room,” Jefferson Healthcare CEO Mike Glenn said. “This is here for the convenience of people who don’t need to make the trip.”

The hospital has wanted to focus on areas outside of Port Townsend for some time, Glenn said.

During Friday’s open house, people toured the 1,386-square-foot facility, which is located in the space previously used by Madrona Hill Urgent Care, which closed its doors in Port Ludlow last year after owner Jim Blair struggled to make it since early 2009.

It has two examination rooms, a procedure room, an X-ray facility and a small lab, all designed to treat less severe ailments for people in Port Ludlow and the south county.

Glenn said it cost about $150,000 to open the clinic, the cost have been brought down by the fact that the building already was adapted to medical uses.

The clinic is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Those needing treatment can call ahead to 360-437-5067 or just walk in.

The clinic has a three-person medical staff, McGrory and two nurse practitioners.

McGrory is on duty Monday through Thursday. Two medical staffers in the clinic at all times.

McGrory, 54, has lived in Chimacum for more than 20 years and has worked in a variety of health care functions.

She ran Olympic Primary Care from 1997 to 2001 and then opened her own private practice in Port Townsend.

Now that she is heading the clinic, where she doesn’t need to manage the insurance end of health care, she can serve more patients, she said.

“When I moved here 20 years ago, my goal was to be a rural primary care doctor,” she said.

“It just took me a while to get there.”

McCrory said she can’t define the special health needs of the Port Ludlow community, but expects many will be aging-related.

“There is a large alternative community with people who are living in the woods and in substandard housing,” she said.

“I’m thrilled that I can offer care on a sliding scale, bringing it to a lot of people who can’t afford to pay a lot.”

On Friday, the clinic was full of casual conversation, food and drink, quite different from how it will appear during business hours.

“It’s nice to be visiting the clinic when you don’t have to use it,” said Eileen Gilligan of Port Ludlow.

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Jefferson County Reporter Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or charlie.bermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: July 10. 2011 7:52PM
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