05 Aug Origin Stories: OHSU Family Medicine Richmond Clinic
By Amber Hollingsworth, Communications Program Supervisor, Department of Family Medicine
With the implementation of the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) in the early 1990s, health systems across the state looked to build and grow primary care access. OHSU’s Family Medicine practice on Marquam Hill was an educational clinic–80% of patient visits to Family Medicine were resident visits, and faculty were mostly there to precept. And, 80% of patients were Medicaid-insured or uninsured.
OHSU opened a number of primary care clinics in the 1990s in anticipation of and response to the OHP, including our Family Medicine Richmond Clinic in 1996. Family Medicine residents moved from the hill to Richmond, beginning with a cohort of four residents per year.
During the 2001 recession, OHSU had to look at restructuring its clinics to avoid mass closures. With Multnomah County’s support, in 2004, Richmond became a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike. It became a full grantee in 2012 and it now serves our Medicaid and uninsured populations.
During the recession, Family Medicine pushed to protect and develop the teaching mission, so that residents, nurses, PAS, MAs, pharmacists, and others can be trained in a safety-net setting.
“Richmond was a teaching health center before there were teaching health centers — it’s all about the academic service partnership,” says John Saultz, MD. Dr. Saultz was the Chair of the OHSU Department of Family Medicine from 1998 to 2016.
Over the years the clinic integrated behavioral health and substance abuse treatment into its care offerings. Richmond Clinic remains a place where patients care about the teaching mission, and like getting their care from providers and trainees.