Photo courtesy of CityMD: The Ravenna CityMD at Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 64th Street.
Photo courtesy of CityMD: The Ravenna CityMD at Roosevelt Way Northeast and Northeast 64th Street.

A CityMD Urgent Care clinic is taking over space in the twice-shuttered Charlie’s on Broadway in Capitol Hill.

Changing a space from bar to medical clinic isn’t anything new for the CHI Franciscan health partner, said Dr. David Shih, CityMD’s executive vice president of strategy health & innovation. It’s been done several times at restaurants and bars in New York, he said.

“Our goal when it comes to building and constructing a site is to definitely incorporate the building architecture and unique features to make sure that look is not lost,” Shih said.

He added the exam rooms will feature pictures and paintings from local artists and photographers, as CityMD does with all its urgent care centers.

“It’s fairly unique and something the patients love,” he said. “It’s a nice little touch, and I think that’s what separates us from other urgent cares.”

CityMD currently has local urgent care facilities in Ravenna, Kent and Federal Way. On top of the Capitol Hill spot, Shih said there are plans to open another urgent care clinic in West Seattle.

CityMD selects sites based on several factors, Shih said, including demographics, nearby health system and places where it can enhance CHI Franciscans health care network. CityMD will be working with Virginia Mason in First Hill, he said. CHI Franciscan Health and Virginia Mason announced last November it was creating a clinical partnership to expand access and improve care.

“The goal is to provide urgent care, which is really an access issue,” Shih said, “and ease ER utilization.”

Each CityMD center has at least one E.R. or family practice physician on site at all times, Shih said, to attend to sprains, minor fractures, burns, allergic reactions and upper respiratory infections. CityMD also provides STD screenings.

“We’re hoping to open in the fall,” Shih said. “It’s a moving target with these permits, so early fall.”

CityMD Capitol Hill, 217 Broadway E., will have nine exam rooms, plus an X-ray room and on-site lab services. Shih said some lab work will be sent to area partners, and most results will be available the same day.

For patients needing higher-level care, CityMD has a referral network, Shih said, generated through outreach with community hospitals and doctors.

All staff and physicians go through a CityMD Academy. Shih said doctors looking to join CityMD spend three hours in interviews and testing, followed by a probation period.

“We don’t let any doctors just work at CityMD. They go through screenings, we test them,” he said, later adding, “We’ve found in the past that a lot of resumes look really good, but we want to test them, to make sure they can take care of real things in real time.”

Shih said CityMD’s urgent care centers are built to accommodate more than 100 patients per day. He added the urgent care market is experiencing a period of large growth.

“Ravenna is still not at capacity. It’s growing at the rate that we expect it to. Sometimes we do have sites that grow very quickly,” Shih said, adding CityMD will adjust its center hours based on need. “It does take a little bit of time for that to grow, but sometimes it does grow rather quickly.”

CityMD is Urgent Care Association of America (UCAOA) accredited. Find out more at citymd.com.