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St. Francis opens medical center opposite Fred Meyer in Auburn

The Franciscan Medical Group has opened its newest medical pavilion, in Auburn. This state-of-the-art facility includes family medicine, cardiology, vascular surgery, general surgery, digital X-ray, a retail pharmacy and an on-site lab. - Courtesy photo
The Franciscan Medical Group has opened its newest medical pavilion, in Auburn. This state-of-the-art facility includes family medicine, cardiology, vascular surgery, general surgery, digital X-ray, a retail pharmacy and an on-site lab.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Of course, one of the big ideas behind St. Francis Medical Group's new medical pavilion north of Auburn's Fred Meyer is to bring its services into a community where they weren't available before.

But Peter O'Connor, chief operating officer of Franciscan Medical Group, said the 124-year-old company is equally determined to expand its reach between St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way and the Highline Medical Center.

And to offer the Auburn community a "full palette" of services.

"Family medicine and primary care is the foundation of all of our care, so we're going to have a major presence here," O'Connor said during a pre-opening day tour of the new facility. "We're starting out with a few primary care docs, up to eight here, but we also have speciality care with cardiology and cardiovascular general surgery. We'll be providing the services here."

Staffed by Franciscan Heart and Vascular Associates and eight primary care doctors, the 37,000-square-foot medical pavilion opened Thursday, boasting 40 examination rooms and a downstairs lab and pharmacy.

The first stop for patients is the second-floor reception area. From there, it's on to either primary care in the East Wing, or to the West Wing with its cardiology and vascular services and rotating specialists.

The company expects to bring those rotating specialists in soon.

One special feature of construction: wide halls for patients that are separated from the staff hallways and all of their associated busyness, noise and bother. The idea there is to provide a more peaceful environment for patients.

Nuclear medicine should be ready for its first patients next week.

St. Francis' takes up about 21,000 square feet of the building. The Boeing Employees Credit Union expects to open a branch in the building about June.

Dave Kessler, principal of Latitude Development, LLC, which built the pavilion, said his company is thick in negotiations with potential tenants.

Latitude acquired the property in 2007. It started work in early 2013.

"We thought it was a good price, and we liked the location," Kessler said. "We were looking at office space at the time. There are not many in-fill lots like this left in Auburn. We just liked the proximity to the retail services, the proximity to the freeway, the proximity to the retail services, the proximity to 15th, the proximity to the hospital."

The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia founded the St. Francis Medical Group in 1890 in Tacoma.

"There's a lot of folks in the community that St. Francis in particular offers a hand to, but it helps anyone that needs care," O'Connor said.

The construction cost was $12 million. Tenant improvements were $7 million.

The pavilion, at 205 10th St. NE, is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

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