SFO Medical Clinic Soars

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SFO Medical Clinic Soars
Clinic Opens in a New Location at San Francisco International Airport

SAN FRANCISCO, May 21, 2009 – The SFO Medical Clinic, operated by St. Mary’s Medical Center (SMMC) in San Francisco, has opened in a new location at the San Francisco International Airport (SFO). SFO invested $2 million dollars to build and equip the new, state-of-the-art clinic conveniently located on the departure level of the International Terminal. A formal re-dedication ceremony is scheduled for May 21, 2009 at 4:00 p.m.

The Clinic does more than just provide occupational services to the employees of the Airport; it also serves to assist in treating the greater Bay Area community. SFO is one of the world’s busiest airports and serves tens of millions of domestic and international passengers each year. Travelers come from around the world and each brings a unique set of medical and health-related issues that need to be addressed.

“Having an onsite medical clinic that can respond quickly to a variety of emergencies is an essential service for our passengers,” said John L. Martin, Director of San Francisco International Airport. “The SFO clinic is part of the first line of defense in identifying and responding to new viruses and illnesses, so ensuring that it operates in the most modern setting with access to state-of-the-art imaging services, testing labs and the ability to perform minor surgical procedures is critical to its mission.”

“Due to our location at SFO it is necessary to be prepared for any health emergency,” said SFO Medical Clinic Administrative Director, Daniel Ostrow. “We work closely with government agencies to ensure we are informed and understand how to manage each health situation with the most up to date guidance. During the recent H1N1 flu outbreak, we were in constant contact with local health officials and the CDC on how to address suspected flu cases.”

Additionally, the Clinic works very closely with the airport’s emergency responders and local county health departments in on-going tabletop and field exercises addressing potential earthquake, air crash, terrorism and contagious diseases. “We plan for illness outbreaks throughout the year,” said Ostrow who has been administrative director of the SFO Medical Clinic for the past eight years. During emergencies, the SFO Medical Clinic will assist first responders in treating non-life threatening injuries.

Several other government agencies rely on the Clinic regularly for assistance as well. Secret Service agents receive annual physicals and immunizations, and on occasion, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents will refer suspect passengers for X-rays to determine if they are concealing illegal drugs.

Even with all of these critical tasks, the main role of the SFO Medical Clinic is to serve as a full-service clinic providing urgent care to the Airport workers, as well as passengers at the airport. Daily operations at the clinic include providing occupational health services to the 20,000 employees at SFO and caring for the employees of over 200 businesses including the City & County of San Francisco, Genentech, Amgen, Elan, and Hyatt. The clinic offers digital imaging services, minor surgical procedures and physical therapy. Common medical conditions treated at the clinic include: upper respiratory infections, barotraumas, cellulitis, allergic reactions, gastroenteritis, dehydration, and cardiac conditions.

 The SFO Medical Clinic, the first of its kind, opened 37 years ago under the vision and direction of the late Dr. Lawrence Smookler and is now named in his honor. For the past eight years the Clinic has been operated by SMMC.

St. Mary's Medical Center (SMMC), a member of Catholic Healthcare West, has cared for the people of the San Francisco Bay Area since 1857. Today, it is one of the largest not-for-profit, community-based healthcare providers in Northern California. Home to the nation’s first digital cardiac catheterization laboratory, pioneering spine and total joint surgery center and a full-range of inpatient and outpatient medical services, SMMC physicians are considered experts in their field. With more than 550 physicians, 1,100 employees and 400 patient beds, St. Mary's is committed to furthering the healing ministry of Jesus, and to providing high-quality, affordable healthcare to the community we serve. For more information, please call 415-668-1000 or visit www.stmarysmedicalcenter.org
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St. Mary's Medical Center San Francisco
450 Stanyan St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 668-1000