By Daniel Nash
There’s a new doctor in town serving families in Bonney Lake.
Dr. Brian Fox cut the ribbon on his new private practice along state Route 410 on Oct. 7.
Members of the Bonney Lake Chamber of Commerce and Auburn Regional Medical Center, an associate of the practice, attended the ceremony.
“I want to thank everyone involved for helping us bring access to primary care to the area,” Fox said in a short speech after cutting the ribbon.
Fox is a doctor of osteopathy, a branch of medicine similar to the M.D. or doctor of allopathy, but with a different guiding philosophy.
Though encyclopedia-size books have been written on the differences between the two branches, Fox said, essentially an osteopathic doctor focuses on the musculoskeletal connections through the entire body.
“I like to think by focusing on structural medicine, I’m able to get closer to treating the condition, rather than just treating symptoms,” he said.
Fox is a primary care physician who works with patients of all ages. In addition, he branches off into dermatology, handling conditions like acne and aging skin.
He graduated from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency with Mt. Sinai Hospital in 2000. He relocated to Bonney Lake from his private practice in Illinois last month. His reasons for relocating from the Midwest were a depressed economy and more favorable Northwest weather.
With the help of Auburn Regional, Fox explored a handful of locations. The Bonney Lake choice was optimal in terms of location and patient accessibility, he said.
“Our goal is accessibility,” he said. “And when I say accessibility, I don’t mean just geographical accessibility. We try to make ourselves very accessible in terms of hours. Four nights a week we have evening hours, and we have Saturday hours throughout the month.”
The issue of financial access is key to current problems in health care, he said. As an example, he cited a problem surrounding free clinics in the Chicago area. As insurance premiums rose, more people in the area dropped their insurance plan and went to public clinics.
“But the more people went to public clinics, the more it cost the public health system,” he said. “That stressed the public system, and additionally insurance premiums rose for everyone else because the companies were working with fewer clients.
“What I’ve been saying for years is that the system the way it was working was a spiral. The fee for service system wasn’t maintainable because as overhead for doctors rose, therefore co-pays rose and fewer patients could pay for medical service and overhead continued to rise.
“I think a change needs to happen overall. Not necessarily as a national socialized medicine, but something certainly needs to be rethought.”
Auburn Regional does not own Fox’s office, which is an entirely private practice. The relationship provides the benefit of public relations, hospital facilities for patient care and a loose association with other Auburn Regional associated private practices.
Fox’s office opened Sept. 23. Fox is currently the only physician on staff, but he has possible plans to bring on a second physician as demand rises. He is accompanied by an office manager and medical assistant.
“The community has been very welcoming,” Fox said. “People are very excited about our hours.
“Our biggest challenge is getting a consistent image out to the public. Primary care is a broad category and people tend to focus on my specialty in dermatology as the only area of practice. We want people to know we handle all primary care needs.”
The office, located at 21220 SR 410 E., is currently taking walk-ins and same-day appointments. The office can be reach by calling 253-447-4770.
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