Virginia Garcia Wellness Center invests energy cost savings in patient care


patient shaking hands with her doctor in the Wellness Center

With 17 clinics across Washington and Yamhill counties, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center provides high-quality, comprehensive and culturally appropriate primary health care with a special emphasis on migrant and seasonal farmworkers and others with barriers to receiving health care. When an opportunity opened to build a new clinic in Cornelius, the nonprofit focused on a patient-centered design, emphasizing health, wellness, the environment and community.

The 35,000-square-foot, LEED® Silver certified Virginia Garcia Wellness Center in Cornelius facilitates a sense of well-being. It is bathed in light from a 20-foot-high skylight that illuminates two floors and double-height windows that overlook the front and back entries. The center boasts multipurpose spaces for classes and community use, including a kitchen, exercise room and community garden.

Virginia Garcia worked with Energy Trust to integrate extra insulation, high-performance windows, efficient lighting and controls, and a variable-refrigerant-volume conditioning system to keep energy use low and comfort high. The center uses 30 percent less energy than a typical building constructed to Oregon energy code and is outfitted so the roof and electrical system are ready for solar panels when funds permit.

CEO Gil Muñoz said it best: “The dollars we’re saving on energy costs go directly back into programs and services—helping us deliver quality health care to those who often can’t afford it.”

COMMENTS