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Nonprofit Urgent Care Center Would Increase Access to Health Care Closer to Home

Contact:           Scot Attridge, Chief Executive Officer
Office (360) 642-6300 |

 ILWACO, WA — Ocean Beach Hospital & Medical Clinics’ most recent community health needs assessment shows a need for additional space for a nonprofit urgent care center to increase local access to health care. The Board of Commissioners for the public hospital district is discussing a bond sometime in 2023 to create that space and service for residents in addition to other capital projects.

As a Critical Access Hospital, OBHMC’s mission is to provide quality health care locally from Naselle to Ocean Park. A Critical Access Hospital is a designated status by the state and federal governments to improve health care for rural residents. However, many people still must travel long distances to get the basic care they need, and some people in the community choose to forgo care because they cannot travel long distances.

OBHMC (also known as Pacific County Public Hospital District 3) wants to add space for a nonprofit urgent care center to increase access to care for medical concerns or injuries that do not require a costly visit to the emergency room. The nearest urgent care center takes an hour to reach from Ocean Park.

“When people don’t have access to urgent care, they turn to the emergency room, which is a more expensive and time-consuming option for medical treatments that are not life-threatening,” OBHMC CEO Scot Attridge said. “A nonprofit urgent care center operated by OBHMC would connect patients to providers who can treat their non-emergency medical condition closer to home.”

The OBHMC Board of Commissioners is discussing putting a capital bond to voters in 2023, which would fund space for a nonprofit urgent care center as well as renovate hospital patient rooms and upgrade medical equipment. This discussion will be a public process. To learn more, please visit

What is urgent care?
Urgent care centers are essentially standard medical clinics, staffed by a physician and nurse practitioner or physician assistant, with extended hours of operation. They stay open past regular business hours on weekdays and are open on weekends when primary care offices are not. Urgent care centers are equipped to provide walk-in and last-minute care for non-life-threatening medical concerns or injuries.

What is the difference between urgent care and the emergency room (ER)?
Urgent care centers can handle a variety of medical problems that need to be treated right away but do not pose an immediate threat to life. Urgent care is not emergency care. Emergency rooms are for any condition or potentially serious or life-threatening emergency.

When should you go to urgent care?
When your primary care provider is not available, urgent care clinics provide help for non-life-threatening medical problems that could become worse if you wait.  Conditions that urgent care commonly treat include:

  • Sore throat
  • Fevers and colds
  • Moderate flu-like symptoms
  • Earaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Strains or sprains
  • Smaller cuts that may need stitches
  • Mild burns
  • Rashes

When should you go to the ER instead of urgent care?
An ER is not the place to go for common illnesses or minor injuries. You should go to the ER if your condition is a potentially serious or a life-threatening problem. Go to the ER if you have any of the following symptoms or conditions, don’t wait! Call 911 or go to the closest hospital emergency room.

  • Chest pain, left arm pain, left jaw pain, or any symptoms that you think could be related to your heart
  • Stroke
  • Loss of consciousness or confusion
  • Seizures
  • Poisoning
  • Severe allergic reactions
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal pain
  • Serious burns and cuts that will not stop bleeding
  • Vomiting or coughing blood
  • Vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain in pregnancy
  • Head trauma
  • Injuries from motor vehicle collisions
  • Broken bones

What is the cost of urgent care vs ER?
Urgent care is more affordable than the ER. The insurance co-pay for many ER visits costs over $1,000, while the average urgent care visit is around $150. (The actual cost will vary, depending on your insurance plan.)

“We are a public hospital district and answer to our community. The OBHMC Board has heard that our community wants a nonprofit urgent care center,” Board Chair Nancy Gorshe said. “Bond funding will prioritize this project and increase the level of care our community requires.”


Pacific County Public Hospital District 3 (known as Ocean Beach Hospital & Medical Clinics) provides both routine and critical health care services to residents from Naselle to Ocean Park. Our hospital and clinics ensure continued local access to high-quality health care for rural residents. Our mission is to ease the pain and improve the health of residents and visitors in our care. We are one of the largest employers in Pacific County, providing family-wage jobs to 180 people. More information on Ocean Beach Hospital & Medical Clinics can be found on its website at

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