Curtis McDonald moved to Ridgefield about a month ago, but he’s already getting a feel for the city.
It’s quite a different environment than Charlotte, N.C., which has a metro-area population just under 2.6 million people. Ridgefield is close to 9,000 people, according to information from the state’s Office of Financial Management.
That steep size decrease hasn’t bothered McDonald or his family. His two kids in Ridgefield can easily reach the downtown skate park. His family has already found good Mexican food and a pizza place.
Earlier this month, McDonald received a warm welcome from the community at a July 13 open house for the new Vancouver Clinic location in Ridgefield, where he’s started working as a pediatrician, after holding the same role for 12 years in other states. The 15,400-square-foot clinic opens Aug. 5, and it’s already booking appointments.
The Ridgefield location will offer primary and urgent care, including pediatrics, and it will also have labs and imaging done on site.
“I really enjoy living in the community where I practice. Charlotte is a really big town. Even though I lived very close to the clinic, I didn’t feel like I had a community connection, because it was so big,” McDonald said. “I’m really excited about living in Ridgefield and working here and getting to know the townspeople.”
McDonald said trust is vital to being a good and helpful pediatrician, especially since the advent of the internet. People now can go online to learn about any symptom or sickness they may have, so trust in your doctor’s advice and a desire to hear their opinion matters, McDonald explained.
McDonald thinks he’ll be able to cultivate strong relationships with people in Ridgefield, and he said he already felt that connection building during the open house.
“The town is so pumped to have the clinic here,” McDonald said. “They really are excited to have something local that they can call their own, and not have to drive into town.”
At a time when clinics and hospitals are rapidly disappearing from rural areas, Vancouver Clinic has amplified its presence in Clark County’s smaller municipalities. In addition to Ridgefield, Vancouver Clinic has already opened a clinic in Battle Ground, and it plans to add its eighth clinic in east Vancouver, right next to Camas.
Taylor Blanchard, a Vancouver Clinic primary care project manager, said Vancouver Clinic wanted to provide a health-care option for people who “live just down the street.”
“Ridgefield is growing and, as an organization that provides medical care to the Clark County area, we saw a need for this growing community to have something close by,” Blanchard said.
What: Ridgefield’s Vancouver Clinic.
When: Opens Aug. 5.
Where: 5515 Pioneer St., Ridgefield. Patients can call 360-882-2778 to book appointments in advance.
Hours: Clinic hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Urgent care hours will be 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and most holidays.
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