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Mee Memorial breaks ground on new children’s clinic

Local healthcare provider expands pediatric services in South Monterey County

Mee Memorial Healthcare System employees and local dignitaries gather Nov. 14 for a groundbreaking ceremony for the Mee Memorial Children’s Health and Wellness Center in King City. The new pediatric clinic, which will be located at 809 Broadway St., is tentatively scheduled to open in March 2023. (Mee Memorial Healthcare System)

KING CITY — Construction is beginning on the Mee Memorial Children’s Health and Wellness Center in King City following a groundbreaking ceremony earlier this month.

The new clinic, located at 809 Broadway St. in the building that serves Dialysis and Physical Therapy, will provide a dedicated space to care for the children of South Monterey County and is designed to address the unique challenges of pediatric medicine.

Design plans and color schemes for the new children’s clinic are displayed during last Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony. (Mee Memorial Healthcare System)

Mee Memorial Healthcare System CEO Rena Salamacha said the hospital is “committed to providing comprehensive services that improve overall health for children” in the community. Currently, the healthcare provider’s service area spans more than 55 miles — from Soledad in the north to Bradley in the south.

“With this expansion, we’re increasing pediatric capacity, with a goal of improving health outcomes and well-being for children,” Salamacha said. “Children need healthy starts to grow into healthy adults, and offering more high-quality healthcare services gives them a huge benefit forward. They deserve access to the best healthcare that we can offer.”

A groundbreaking ceremony with Mee Memorial employees and local dignitaries was held Nov. 14 for the area’s newest clinic, which will have six exam rooms. It is tentatively scheduled to open in March 2023.

King City Mayor Mike LeBarre (left) presents a certificate of appreciation to Mee Memorial Healthcare System CEO Rena Salamacha at the Nov. 14 clinic groundbreaking ceremony. (Mee Memorial Healthcare System)

“Had a great time with friends breaking ground on the new Mee Memorial Children’s Health and Wellness Center in King City today,” said Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez. “This is a great investment by the board of trustees and their team to provide the care our kids need here at home.”

Mee Memorial received a total of $500,000 to support the expansion of its pediatric services, including a $350,000 grant from Monterey Peninsula Foundation and $150,000 that was gifted to the hospital.

According to Dr. Jorge Feria, pediatric clinic director, the new Mee Memorial Children’s Health and Wellness Center — named by employee Nasareth Camacho in a competition — will be able to treat minor injuries, reduce dislocations, splint broken bones, remove foreign bodies from ears and noses, and much more.

Dr. Jorge Feria, pediatric clinic director at Mee Memorial, speaks about the expansion of pediatric services during the Nov. 14 groundbreaking ceremony. (Mee Memorial Healthcare System)

“Our pediatric-specific clinic will create a warm, welcoming environment that helps children feel safe and comfortable — with a focus on healthy growth and development,” Feria said. “Our on-site providers will help parents navigate everything from immunizations and check-ups to chronic health conditions.”

In addition, the expansion will help increase capacity at Mee Memorial’s King City Clinic, where Family and Community Medicine providers treat a variety of patients, including children who can receive treatment at the new clinic instead once it opens.

Heidi Pattison, director of outpatient clinics, said Mee Memorial is always seeking to improve and respond to the needs of the community. She added that the new clinic is the “result of a great deal of planning and hard work — and in many ways, it is a dream come true.”

Heidi Pattison, director of outpatient clinics, says prioritizing children’s health is “crucial to ensuring that our rural community continues to thrive.” (Mee Memorial Healthcare System)

“It is clear that prioritizing children’s health and wellbeing is crucial to ensuring that our rural community continues to thrive,” Pattison said, “and so it has long been our wish to open a clinic dedicated to the health and wellness of the children of South County.”

The Children’s Health and Wellness Center will join Mee Memorial Healthcare System’s network that also includes Mee Memorial Hospital in King City and three comprehensive outpatient clinics; two adjacent to the hospital and the Albert and Donna Oliveira Clinic in Greenfield.

“Our mission at Mee Memorial is to deliver quality, patient-centered healthcare with compassion and integrity; and we strive to demonstrate this to our patients and community every day,” Pattison said.

The new clinic will provide a dedicated space that includes six exam rooms to care for local children. (Mee Memorial Healthcare System)