Physician Shares Benefits of Outreach Clinics
Serving more kids in more places. That is the goal for providing outreach clinics on behalf of Shriners Children’s Spokane.
Shriners Children’s Spokane hosts regular outreach clinics in Kalispell, Montana, Fairbanks, Alaska, Richland, Washington, and most recently, Yakima, Washington.
“We provide very specialized care that is not present in most communities,” said orthopedic surgeon Bryan Tompkins, M.D. “Access to care is a big issue in the health system.”
There are many benefits to Shriners Children’s outreach clinics, according to Dr. Tompkins, including accessibility. Outreach clinics allow families to receive care closer to their homes. It is a familiar and comfortable setting for the patient. It also helps families avoid the time and cost of traveling to a hospital. “Many families do not have the means to travel, particularly if it involves multiple visits,” said Dr. Tompkins. “It means those patients are under-treated for their condition or receive little or no care at all.”
The Shriners Children’s Spokane outreach clinics contain a team of surgeons, nurses and other critical staff members. It is ultimately an extension of the outpatient clinic in the Spokane hospital: Kids will see the same specialized medical staff, just in a different location.
“As the physician attending the outreach clinic, I can see each patient in the same fashion that I would at our clinic in Spokane,” Dr. Tompkins added.
Certain conditions and diagnoses require all of the resources at the hospital, including specialized imaging, orthotics, physical and occupational therapy, and the motion analysis center. In those cases, care managers can help arrange for travel and other necessities to make sure patients get the best care possible.
However, Dr. Tompkins can maintain care for most patients in outreach settings, again providing convenience for the family.
“Outreach clinics also allow us to have a connection to the community by more closely interacting with local pediatric providers,” he added.
The Spokane Shriners Hospital staff has the ability to treat kids with issues ranging from serious orthopedic conditions to simple fractures and sports injuries. Shriners Children’s Spokane treats kids up to age 18, always regardless of their ability to pay or insurance status.
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