Pasadena opens new health clinic, urgent care center

Pasadena is opening a new health clinic and urgent care center in an underserved area of the San Gabriel Valley.

The new clinic is in east Pasadena. Doctors will treat patients with or without insurance, and on a sliding scale – that is, for some, it’s pay-what-you-can. The nonprofit Community Health Alliance of Pasadena, or CHAP, runs a similar clinic across town that’s been getting more and more crowded.

"Our number of patients increased about 35 percent in the past two years," says CHAP's Brian Hayes. "Just because there are fewer places for them to go to receive care, especially people who have lost jobs and lost insurance are turning to places like community health centers."

The need is increasing in a time when emergency rooms and hospital beds have been cut back. St. Luke’s Hospital on the east side of Pasadena closed about 10 years back.

The new facility on east Del Mar has a primary care clinic and an urgent care center. Dr. Cary Manoogian runs that.

He says the aim is to take pressure off of the emergency room at Huntington Memorial Hospital on the west side of town. "Roughly up to 20 to 25 percent in emergency rooms really don’t belong there. They belong in a setting that is urgent care oriented. Or they need to be in their doctor’s office. But those 20 percent of patients are tying up care in an emergency room where higher level of care should be provided."

The Pasadena Urgent Care Center will be open daily for walk-ins starting next week from 7 in the morning until 10 at night. This week it is open with reduced hours, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.