Oct 1, 2009

S. Broadway Health Center Expanding


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Clinic's Size Will Triple With Move

By Elaine D. BriseñO
Journal Staff Writer
      A new and improved health clinic is coming to South Broadway.
       First Choice Community Healthcare broke ground this week on a project that will more than double the space it now has at its South Broadway clinic. The nonprofit group is transforming an old state building at 1301 William Street into its new space at a cost of $3.2 million.
       Bernalillo County Commissioner Art De La Cruz said he was able to work out the deal that allows First Choice to lease the state building for $1 a year.
       “They were looking for a good location,” he said. “They are out of space there.”
       “We are trying to improve the quality of the facility,” said architect Russ Golightly with the firm Gregory T. Hicks and Associates. “The building was built in the '70s, and we are going to give it a facelift and make it more appealing to the neighbors.”
       First Choice has eight locations in the Albuquerque metro area. It provides medical and dental services and administers the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program, which is a state supplemental food service for low-income parents who have small children.
       The current clinic at 1316 Broadway SE is about 6,500 square-feet, while the renovated building will provide 15,650 square feet. Bob DeFelice, chief executive officer of First Choice, said the new building will allow the clinic to increase the number of people it serves and possibly expand its hours.
       “Right now, we only have 12 exam rooms, no conference rooms, a limited patient waiting area,” DeFelice said. “There is not sufficient office space, either.”
       In the new building, there will be 18 exam rooms, an expanded waiting area, conferences rooms and more office space.
       The clinic has been open for about 25 years and has gone through several renovations and remodels, DeFelice said. The clinic's client base has increased over the years, he said.
       The clinic, DeFelice said, serves 1,000 to 1,100 medical patients a month and about the same number of WICC clients. DeFelice said the new space will allow the clinic to double those numbers. Construction is expected to be completed in October or November 2010.
       The clinic provides services to almost everyone, including those who do not have insurance.
       “We are one choice,” DeFelice said. “People are comfortable coming here because we are in their neighborhoods and they recognize us.”

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