Walnut Creek Patch: John Muir Health has opened its new outpatient center in Walnut Creek

David Mills

The $40 million, 144,000-square-foot facility began treating patients on Tuesday.

It's located in the old Bank of the West building at the corner of Treat Boulevard and Cherry Lane.

Initially, there will be 27 physicians with 60 clinical staff and 15 support staff. Eventually, there will be as many as 45 doctors working there.

The three-story complex has an urgent care center on the first floor as well as two x-ray rooms and pediatric, family and internal medicine facilities.

The second floor includes specialty physician suites in addition to more internal medicine. The third floor is for administrative offices.

Katherine Sorenson, John Muir Physician Network's vice president of acquisitions, business and facility development, said a patient can be examined at urgent care, then be wheeled down the hall for an x-ray and be seen by a specialist without leaving the building.

"It's one stop shopping," said Sorenson.

The urgent care center has 12 exam rooms as well as a two-chair infusion base in the front corner that can be utilized for people who need treatments such as a saline solution IV.

Urgent care is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Sorenson said they have refurbished the former bank to bring in natural light. They also spruced up the walls with different themes of art work.

"It's a nice, pleasing, calm, healing environment," she said.

Sorenson also likes the location. It's next to John Muir Health's corporate offices. It's also near BART and Interstate 680. It's also on a convenient corner with plenty of parking.

There is one concern along those lines from people in the nearby Walden area neighborhood. John Muir Health has requested a left turn be made available from westbound Treat Boulevard onto Cherry Lane.

The neighbors are concerned such a turn would increase traffic in their neighborhood. A decision on that issue is expected in the next couple months.

One of the main thrusts of the new facility is to combine resources that have been spread out over eight locations. Those smaller offices, such as the urgent care clinic on Montego Way, have been closed with their personnel moving to the new Treat Boulevard center.

Lee Huskins, the president of the John Muir Health Physician Network, said the new facility is part of an effort to make medical offices more efficient and cost-effective.

He said provisions in the Affordable Care Act are requiring medical organizations to alter the way they do business.

"This center was done with the Affordable Care Act in mind," said Huskins.

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