New Mountain View clinic opens doors

(KTUU)
Published: Aug. 31, 2018 at 7:31 PM AKDT
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A doctor and his wife are spending their own money to open a primary and urgent care clinic in Mountain View after

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“This is two doctors trying to prove you can serve everyone, you can meet medical needs without the business of medicine getting in the way,” said Dr. Robin Ninefeldt, a family medicine doctor who works alongside the clinic’s owner, Dr. Jon Van Ravenswaay. “Money has gotten in the way of the delivery of healthcare for far too long.”

Both physicians explained that the clinic emphasized up-front pricing and providing healthcare for everybody. “The big focus for us is to offer inexpensive medical care,” said Ninefeldt.

Ravenswaay and his wife Andrea Van Raavenswaay are funding the clinic which opened less than a week ago. Alaska Regional Hospital ‘temporarily closed’ Mountain View Community Clinic in June, 2017 due to high financial costs.

“The clinic that has recently opened is unrelated to our hospital and the clinic that we operated previously,” said Kjerstin Lastufka, a spokesperson for Alaska Regional.

Lastufka said there are “no concrete plans” for supporting the new clinic but added, “We are continuing to evaluate options for providing care in that space, and have been very pleased to learn that the new urgent care clinic is open for business.”

Ninefeldt, who was the physician at the Mountain View Community Clinic, didn’t want to disclose how much money the Van Raavenswaays had invested in the new clinic but she said it was “a fair amount and it continues.”

The two doctors were entirely uninterested in speaking about finances, instead focusing on the scope of the healthcare they’re trying to provide. “As physicians, when we take our Hippocratic Oath, that’s kind of what we promise what we’re going to do, and we're here to help people," Ninefeldt said.

The two physicians say the new clinic will offer rural care by traveling across the state, and they even offer home visits. One of the main goals is to reduce costs for patients.

“Primary care is now expensive healthcare,” said Van Ravenswaay. “It’s not unusual to have a $300 or $400 bill for just a primary care visit.”

Ravenswaay explained that the new clinic is a true family venture. His wife works in reception while his daughter works as a medical assistant, even his young son helped out with the demolition of the building’s interior.

The new clinic is on the same plot of land as the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Clinic, which closed in 2008.

Ninefeldt and Van Ravenswaay are focused on the future.

“It would be nice to prove to the rest of the country, that time and time again, Alaskans get it right,” Ninefeldt said.