On December 5th, 2012, over 80 guests got a sneak peak and hard hat tour of Asian Health Services New Clinic, located at the site of the former Silver Dragon restaurant in the heart of Oakland’s Chinatown. The Clinic is slated to open in Spring 2013 and will house 20 exam rooms and serve up to 10,000 patients from the community. It will feature a Geriatric Center of Excellence, a welcoming environment for patient check-in and registration, as well as gathering spaces for community meetings. This is a significant expansion for AHS.
The new facility houses 15,000 sq. ft. of clinic space on 3 floors. In addition to exam rooms, there will be nursing stations, lab stations, and counseling rooms for individual and group visits for chronic disease management. The clinic will be staffed by up to 10 physicians and midlevel providers and more than 30 clinic support staff.
In recent years, demand for health services has been growing rapidly and has outstripped AHS’ current capacity to serve medically underserved patients.
“There are currently over 4,500 patients requesting new patient physical exam appointments,” said Dr. Susan Huang, Medical Director of AHS. “For many of these new patients, the wait can often be up to four months for a non-urgent care appointment. We would like to increase timely care access for these and other patients, and our new site will enable us to provide a significant solution to the care needed by our communities.”
Community health centers across the nation are working to expand capacity in preparation to serve the additional 35 million Americans who will receive health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. AHS anticipates that in 2014, when national health care reform is fully implemented, there will be even more newly insured patients seeking services at AHS.
AHS CEO Sherry Hirota said, “This New Clinic is a vital and timely expansion to our capacity. A new health center at the heart of Chinatown is more—much more—than bricks and mortar. It’s an opportunity to build community, a place for us to gather, to get to know each other, to support each other in creating healthy lives and a healthy community.”