Franciscan Health System officials looked around the South Sound five years ago and found there were holes in its coverage area.

“We really understood the way health care was changing we needed to be more thoughtful in the way we manage health care in populations,' said Cliff Robertson, chief operating officer of FHS. “We needed to provide and expand our reach, if you will.'

Recently, Franciscan's reach expanded further into east Pierce County with the opening of the Franciscan Medical Pavilion – Bonney Lake.

“(That facility) is part of our overall goal of delivering quality health care to people's backyards,' Robertson said. “We believe that community hasn't been serviced with just access to care and specialists.'

Prior to opening the new facility Franciscan discovered that it was already treating a large portion of the Bonney Lake community at its other facilities. For example, Robertson said one in five patients that were being admitted into St. Joseph's Hospital in downtown Tacoma lived in the zip codes that this new facility will service.

Brent Mounts, who is the general manager of Prime Fitness in Bonney Lake, said MultiCare has been in the area for quite some time, but he appreciates the new facility because it will “bring some diversity.'

“People will have more options,' said Mounts, who is also on the local chamber board. “(Franciscan officials) seem to be very community-minded. We see them as being a good addition to the area from a standpoint of looking out for the area.'

Franciscan, in partnership with Rush Development Company, developed the $26 million, 45,000 square foot medical pavilion on property at the corner of SR 410 and Sky Island Drive East.

The facility includes an adjacent parking garage that offers over 200 spaces to patients.

Robertson said the facility is supposed to reflect the Northwest with its stained wood facade and its warm and inviting decor. Plus the building is equipped with modern technology, has free WiFi throughout it and is connected to Franciscan's electronic medical records system.

The facility hasn't opened up all of its offerings yet to the public, Robertson said. Eventually, Franciscan expects to have more than a 1,000 patient encounters on a daily basis.

And this is good news for other local businesses.

“There will be a lot of people coming in there and they might get exposure to our business. They might tell people about us and we will tell them about them,' Mounts said. “Everyone will benefit, that is, by Franciscan because it will pretty much be a landmark.'

Services currently available at the pavilion include: Franciscan Prompt Care Clinic, Franciscan Medical Clinic (family and internal medicine), Franciscan pharmacy, on-site lab and digital x-ray.

Services coming August 5 include: physical therapy, imaging (CT, Ultrasound, mammography and MRI), and pain management injections. The following services will be available later this year: Oncology/infusion and rotating specialties (Cardiology, Podiatry, Occupational Health).

The goal, according to Robertson, was to create a “one-stop shop' for medical services and better serve this local community.

“We are about creating healthier communities. We need to have a different type of presence in the communities we serve,' said Robertson, who is a family doctor by training and likes that the focus is changing to preventative health care rather than just going to hospitals when you get ill. “For me this makes all the sense in the world, although it's taken our country a while to get to this point.'