Lab services now available full time at Sisters clinic


Last updated 10/3/2023 at 11:02am

Photo by Bill Bartlett

Sisters area residents can now get lab work done Monday-Friday at the St. Charles Family Clinic.

It's hard to miss the large, colorful banner adorning St. Charles Family Care Clinic on N. Arrowleaf Trail in the Outlaw Station shopping center. Neon-yellow all-capital letters on a fluorescent-red background say "now open."

The clinic has been open for years of course. The reference is to the outpatient laboratory that until September 1 had been irregularly staffed. No longer. You can get lab work Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. by order of your health provider.

St. Charles Sisters said it performed nearly 600 lab orders in September, about 20-30 percent of those from non-St. Charles Health System patients. A number were patients of Summit Health, formerly BMC, who have five clinics in Deschutes County including one in Sisters on East Cascade Avenue. Summit's Sisters location is the only one of their five units not to provide lab services on-premise.

Having full-time lab services in Sisters has long been a goal of area healthcare professionals. Most everybody has had fasting labs at least once in their life. The drive to Redmond or Bend on an empty stomach is now a thing of the past for those who wish to use the St. Charles Sisters clinic.

You do not have to be a patient of the Clinic, but your doctor will have to fax an order on your behalf or give you a paper copy to present when making an appointment.

The clinic also performs outpatient radiology on-site. As with lab work, Summit's Sisters clinic does not yet provide radiology (X-ray).

High Lakes Health Care on W. Adams has lab service Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon by appointment, when a phlebotomist rotates in.

Blood tests are common medical tests. You may have a blood test as part of a routine physical examination or because you have certain symptoms. There are many different blood tests. Some focus on blood cells and platelets. Some evaluate substances in blood such as electrolytes, proteins, and hormones. Others measure certain minerals.

In a general sense, a blood test shows changes in your body. Blood test results don't show a complete picture, however - they are more or less a snapshot. Upon viewing the snapshot, your provider may do other blood tests to get a closer view.

The Nugget asked St. Charles when Sisters might possibly see an urgent care facility, and they deferred the topic for another time. St. Charles Health System runs an urgent care clinic in La Pine, a city with about a third less population than Sisters.

In addition to the expansion of outpatient laboratory services, the Sisters clinic has recently added Dr. Jeremy Kenison to its roster. Kenison, an osteopath, will focus on family medicine with a sub specialty in osteopathic manipulation treatment (OMT) used to help correct structural imbalances in your body, improve circulation, and relieve pain.

Doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) see patients, prescribe medications, perform surgeries, and deliver babies in hospitals, medical centers, and offices across the United States and overseas. Whether they are primary care providers or specialists, DOs use all the standard tools of modern medicine, but also have additional therapeutic modalities with which to care for their patients.

Osteopathic medicine is a whole-person approach that emphasizes the body's interconnectedness. Osteopaths, by training, treat each patient as an individual, not a set of symptoms.

A native of Concord, New Hampshire, Dr. Kenison graduated from Davidson College before finishing medical school at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed a family medicine residency at Naval Hospital Bremerton in Bremerton, Washington.

Kenison served as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy Medical Corps for 10 years, finishing his service in 2022 as the senior medical officer at Naval Branch Health Clinic Bangor in Silverdale, Washington.

"I am excited to join the St. Charles team in Sisters and I look forward to helping patients of all ages in their wellness journey," Kenison said.

Dr. Kenison and his family are exploring Central Oregon's mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and backpacking opportunities. He is accepting new patients.


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