At nine stories, encompassing 200,000 square feet, and housing 500 physicians and support staff, Kaiser Permanente’s Mission Bay Medical Offices, located at 1600 Owens Street, opens next month. The facility, which isn’t a hospital – emergency services won’t be available – will principally serve Southside San Francisco residents, who may have had trouble accessing Kaiser’s main Richmond District campus.
“It’s bringing Kaiser Permanente services to a part of the City that has not had facilities,” Kaiser Permanente San Francisco director of public affairs Randy Wittorp said. “It’s a way of making our services more convenient to people who live on the east side of SF…There’s been lots of growth in that area.”
The Owens Street facility will offer primary care – internal/family medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, and pediatrics – specialty care – dermatology, minor injuries, occupational health, optometry and optical services/vision, orthopedics and podiatry, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical therapy, sports medicine – and support services, including health education, imaging, a laboratory, and a pharmacy.
Some of the offerings, such as dermatology and physical therapy, will be by referral-only. Kaiser’s Geary, French, Divisadero, Fillmore, and Van Ness facilities will continue to provide the same services as they do today, except dermatology will be exclusively housed in Mission Bay.
The new facility includes a healthy living center to promote patient and staff wellness through technology and hands-on learning, according to Dr. Maria Ansari, physician-in-chief at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Medical Center. “Patients will learn such things as downloading an app to be able to conduct video visits with their doctors, learning online tools for disease self-management and health promotion, or watching a live cooking demo for healthy eating,” she said.
Convenience will likely be the main reason patients come to Mission Bay, similar to why physicians want to work there. “Doctors who have chosen to work at Mission Bay love the proximity to public transport for the benefit of our patients and being in the center of the research and development boom in the City,” Ansari said.
The medical office building is Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Gold-certified, reflecting its environmentally-friendly design and construction. LEED certification is based on a point system that encompasses energy consumption, use of environmentally sensitive materials, and transportation-friendly features, such as bicycle racks, among other things. “It’s very intricate and involved,” Wittorp said. “Every project could be so different, so LEED certification is not a single, specific thing. It could be achieved a variety of ways.”
The finishing products and adhesives used to construct partitions and banquettes were formulated to prevent off-gassing of harmful emissions. The facility employs an efficient interior plumbing and irrigation design, as well as native landscaping, Wittorp said. There’s a small open space featuring a sculpture, a cone of butterflies rising into the sky, by Cliff Garten of Venice, California. Solar panels on the parking garage’s roof provide 10 percent of the building’s energy demand. “We’ve invested a lot in the insulation and effective use of natural light to reduce the energy we do need for the building,” he said.
“There is great emphasis on the environment of care, from the color scheme and natural light, to make the facility pleasant and calming,” Wittorp said. “There’s also an emphasis on local art…Every floor has a large mural in the reception area, commissioned from a local artist, Anthony Holdsworth. Each mural depicts a different San Francisco neighborhood. There’s the carousel in Golden Gate Park, the waterfront with the Bay Bridge, North Beach, and the Bayiew Opera House. There’s a theme on each floor, which is kind of set by that mural, and every floor commemorates a different neighborhood in San Francisco.”
According to Ansari, Kaiser is delighted with its new facility, but is aware that there may be challenges associated with having some services in two locations. “We will remain continuously connected through our robust electronic medical record, where every lab, MD visit, consult, radiology image, prescription, etc. will be seen and available across all sites of Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, and in Northern California for that matter,” she said.