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Articles / 2011

Green medical clinic greets public
Oxnard facility will be model for others

Ventura County Star
Tuesday, 01/25/2011
by Cindy Von Quednow

The floors of the new Vineyard Center for Family Health are made of linseed oil, yeast and bark. The counters are made from crushed root beer bottles, and the carpets in the physicians' offices are recycled.

The environmentally friendly center, which has been open since November, held an open house Tuesday for community members to tour the Oxnard site.

"I love the fact that people are brainy enough to take things that we throw away and make them into something new," said Belinda Hernandez, a stay-at-home grandmother from Oxnard who visited the center for the first time on Tuesday.
Hernandez said she particularly liked the root beer counter tops. The center also has motion-censored lighting and pressure-assisted toilets to cut down on energy and water costs. The space is decorated with art and photography from local artists. Some of the art is from recycled materials.

Placards throughout the facility explain what each of the components is made of and how it is used in the clinic.
The Vineyard Center replaced a facility on Citrus Grove and is awaiting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification from the United States Green Building Council. Sue Pollack, the interior designer of the project, said the building is a test run for how the new Community Memorial Hospital will operate.

"This is one of their busiest clinics, so it would be a great test for the new facility in Ventura," Pollack said. Haady Lashkari, the chief administrative officer of Ojai Valley Community Hospital and initiator of the project, said there is an obvious correlation between environmental consciousness and health.

"Being green in so many ways is about being healthy," Lashkari said. "Hopefully we can inspire people to follow what they see in the center in their home life."

Kimberly Bridges, the director of Centers for Family Health, said patients can come in to get the care they need and also be educated about being environmentally friendly.

"A lot of patients don't know what LEED means and think going green means ‘I separate my plastic from my trash,' but it really is a lot more than that," Bridges said. "It makes us really proud that we can pull something like that off here, in this neighborhood, in this environment. It's a great accomplishment."

Lydia Iris Clark from Ventura said she was impressed by the new facility and wants more people to follow in the center's green footsteps.

"This is a beautiful office and everything is done so professionally," Clark said. "I think this building is an inspiration for other companies to go green."