By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
When Silverton Health officials held a groundbreaking at the site of their new Keizer clinic in July, CEO Rick Cagen raised some eyebrows.
Cagen mentioned the clinic would be opening on Jan. 1, a date that surprised many – including his own staff.
He amended the date at the Nov. 21 Greater Gubser Neighborhood Association (GGNA) meeting.
“February 1 is the planned time to start,” Cagen said.
The 10,000 square foot clinic is currently under construction on Inland Shores Way NE, next to the former Caruso’s Italian Restaurant. Services available will include family and internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics and sports medicine, specialty medicine, pediatrics, x-ray and ultrasound services.
“We are thrilled to be in the neighborhood,” Cagen told Gubser residents. “The area of north Salem and Keizer is not served all that well by health care. To provide services to new community partners, we are thrilled.”
Sarai Vasquez, a 14-year veteran at Silverton Health, will be manager of the Keizer clinic.
“I feel really honored and privileged,” Vasquez said. “I’m excited with the team we are building. We will have a number of providers.”
John Hayes, a Silverton Health doctor in family and internal medicine who has lived in Keizer since 2005, noted his family – which includes five children – is looking forward to service closer to home.
“We will have a pediatrician next door to my office,” Hayes said. “We will have access to a birth center. It will be as full service as we can provide. Since it’s a new clinic, we’re guessing the demand will be high. If we’re overloaded, we will ask for more help. We’re putting our best doctors in there first.
“Living in Keizer, I hear what everyone says about problems with access,” he added. “It’s hard to access health care if you have to drive to Woodburn or Silverton. Now we will have service right next door. It’s a beautiful facility.”
Jill Pearson, a Silverton Health doctor in pediatrics, will be in charge of getting the pediatrician service up and running in Keizer.
“I’m very excited to be in the area,” Pearson said.
Vasquez, who expects to have an open house sometime in the latter part of February, said hours will initially be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
“Depending on needs, we may do extended hours,” she said. “Doctors will all be there at the start. You are welcome to call us now (at 971-983-5371). We are already taking appointments.”
Following up on what Hayes said, Cagen said resources expended will match needs.
“We are willing to grow,” Cagen said. “(The doctors) won’t be bashful to let us know if they need more help. We see nothing but growth.”