Family Care Network facility could open by mid-2021

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Family Care Network’s new medical facility in Blaine could open as soon as the first half of 2021, providing much-needed medical services to local residents.

The new facility plans to offer outpatient primary care, on-site urgent care, a laboratory draw station and X-ray capabilities. It will be located on the Gateway parcel, formerly the site of the Blaine Municipal Airport, after the city of Blaine and Family Care Network (FCN) reached an agreement last September for the purchase and sale of about 2.5 acres of city-owned property.

FCN’s property will be located in the middle of the Gateway parcel, extending from SR-543 to Grant Avenue. FCN will build on approximately 1.2 acres bordering SR-543, with access from Grant Avenue, and the remainder of the property will be reserved for future development, said a spokesperson for FCN.

“The city is in the process of creating an actual lot, and shortly thereafter, we will close on the property,” said FCN’s president and CEO, Dr. Rodney Anderson. “The ball is in their court right now, and once the city completes its review process and creates that lot, we will do our final review and close shortly thereafter.”

In the meantime, FCN has retained architects Marcus Johnson and David Christensen, AIA to prepare designs for the building. They have already created an internal floor plan, Dr. Anderson said, and are now finalizing external drawings. “We basically want to be ready to submit applications for building permits the day we close, or as soon as possible thereafter,” said Dr. Anderson.

Dr. Anderson said FCN has also already committed to a contractor, the Franklin Corporation. “If everything goes as planned and we close on the land, they have given us a timeline of eight to 10 months for the actual construction, and that would put us on schedule for the front half of 2021,” he said.

The FCN facility will be approximately 8,200 square feet, and will consist of one large building with a parking lot. Most of the square footage will be used for outpatient primary care. The building will also contain an urgent care center that will be open seven days a week to all in the community. The hours for walk-in patients will be 1 to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

To prepare for the opening of the new facility, FCN has also started recruiting new staff and providers. At the moment, FCN is actively recruiting doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants for the new center. Later, it will recruit nurses and an office manager among other staff.

FCN expects to invest $3.5 million into the project, and with demand growing for health care services, Dr. Anderson said he does not have any concerns about the project’s financial viability. “We are heavily committed to seeing this project succeed,” he said. “We’ve been around for more than 20 years in Whatcom County, and our obligation is not to make money but to serve the health needs of our community.”

“We’re really grateful for the support of the city council and the community at large,” Dr. Anderson added. “We’ve gotten a lot of positive reaction from folks, and we’re excited to serve the community.”

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