UCLA Health recently opened another primary and specialty care clinic in the Thousand Oaks market in a bid to meet demand for primary care doctors, as well as apportioning additional space required for advanced services.
The new 14,000-square-foot facility, Thousand Oaks Hampshire Primary & Specialty Care, is located at 248 Hampshire Road and is home to about 25 employees. It is the fourth UCLA multi-specialty clinic in Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks and offers pulmonology services, sleep medicine, gastroenterology, full X-ray and laboratory services.
The primary care capability the clinic brings to the table, according to Dr. Adam Cavallero, arrives at a crucial time.
“The pandemic has really underscored the importance of preventative care. A lot of people forgo some of their routine health maintenance items throughout the pandemic and that has led to some adverse outcomes,” Cavallero said. “So, patients are more than ever on board with primary care physicians.”
A study conducted by BMC Health Services Research found that the decrease in preventive care during Covid-19 may cause delayed diagnoses, increased health care costs and increased mortality.
The new location is slated to offer immediate care later in the year that will allow patients to be seen in the evenings and the weekends. The implementation of immediate care would make the clinic UCLA Health’s first immediate care location in the Conejo Valley, according to Cavallero.
The Hampshire clinic will also meet demand for additional space needed for advanced services, which will involve doctors and staff relocated to it from UCLA Health’s Thousand Oaks location at 100 Moody Court.
“They needed some additional space to do more advanced things like pulmonary function testing, spirometry and six-minute walk tests. These are tests that require some additional space that we were tight (at the previous locations), and that’s because we were trying to squeeze in as many doctors as we could into our existing space,” Cavallero said. “But there comes a point where you can’t do that anymore.”
Endoscopy, a procedure used to examine the digestive tract, was also a priority for UCLA Health, which has a general and advanced endoscopy suite slated to open later this year within the new clinic. Previously patients that needed screening colonoscopies or other endoscopy studies were sent to West Hills. The trip was not ideal for UCLA Health’s patient population in Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village, according to Cavallero.
The clinic also sports a more optimal parking lot for patients that Cavallero said was a priority when scouting locations, as the parking of its Moody Court location was something they wanted to improve on with the new clinic.
The larger plan at the new clinic helps UCLA Health with establishing a sense of community between its employees and patients, according to Cavallero, who resides in Thousand Oaks with his family.
“We see our patients around the community and that’s really what we’re looking for, is physicians to be embedded in the communities in which they work,” Cavallero said. “We want them to feel part of the fabric of the community and have their finger on the pulse of what the community needs and how it is responding.”
Cavallero said UCLA Health is cognizant of other health care players in the local market, but that the clinic was not a result of trying to gain a leg up on competition. He added that he does not anticipate another office being opened in the area in the near future.
“That being said, you never know — sometimes a space will open up that we’ve had our eye on for a long time and we’ll jump on it,” Cavallero said. “So anything’s possible but as of right now, I’m not aware of any imminent plans to open another office.”
Haider Alawami, economic development manager for the city of Thousand Oaks, wrote in an email to the Business Journal that agrees with Cavallero when it comes to competition between UCLA Health and other players such as Kaiser Permanente and Los Robles Regional Medical Center. “I do not believe there is a competition between these groups,” Alawami wrote. “They are focusing on providing the best health care to their patients.”