With some help from Pima County, the University of Arizona Health Network opened joint clinics for families and people with diabetes on Tucson's south side this week. The county paid for the $2.1 million construction cost of the 22,000-square-foot Family and Community Medicine Physician Offices, and the University of Arizona Medical Center will staff them.

The project was funded with leftover voter-approved bond money, Deputy County Administrator Jan Lesher said. The money was left over from previous projects that were completed under budget, she said.

The new space is on the bottom floor of the county's Herbert K. Abrams Public Health Center, 3950 S. Country Club Road. The UA Health Network is leasing the space for a little less than market value, Lesher said.

The building is adjacent to The University of Arizona Medical Center - South Campus, which used to be known as Kino Hospital. The county had previously used bond money to finance a behavioral health pavilion on the hospital campus, and Lesher said the family clinics add to an integrated health system all in one area.

She added that the diabetes focus is a natural extension of the county's work on combating obesity in the community. The number of people with Type 2 diabetes has soared along with obesity rates in the last 10 years.

"It provides a continuum of care on the campus," Lesher said.

The new offices will specialize in diabetes and family medicine. The family clinic was designed around the "medical home" model where patients can get most of their preventive health needs met in one place. In addition to family physicians, the staff includes a psychologist, a social worker and a case manager.

The diabetes clinic includes a shared lab draw station so patients will not have to travel to another location for blood work and other tests.

The two office spaces will share a classroom for education sessions, an exercise room for patient education in physical conditioning, a prep kitchen and a demonstration kitchen.

The facilities were made possible in part by Pima County with funding provided by past bonds voter-approved to enhance and expand the behavioral and medical needs of Pima County residents.

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Among amenities, the clinics include patient exam rooms, an exercise room, demonstration and preparation kitchens, and a classroom. The new Family and Community Medicine Physician Offices feature 36 examination rooms, three procedure rooms and one treatment room with three bays. There are three consultation rooms, a shared lab draw station, and two resident-attending preceptor rooms. The offices are designed as a "medical home" that will provide comprehensive care in one convenient location.

The clinic will accept both Medicaid and Medicare patients, as well as those with private insurance.

More information

To schedule an appointment at either clinic, call 874-APPT (2778).

Contact reporter Stephanie Innes at sinnes@azstarnet.com or 573-4134.