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Sprouts & Shutters: Medical Offices Closed

Here’s your roundup of retail, restaurant and other business news in Lamorinda and Central Contra Costa County. Find out what's opening, closing and changing around town.

Wondering what new businesses are opening and changing in your town? Our “Sprouts & Shutters” column highlights restaurant, retail and other business news in Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga and Central Contra Costa County.

Lafayette

The medical offices of Dr. Eugenia Pat Gary have reportedly closed. The phone number at the doctor's office at 949 Moraga Road, Suite 3, is no longer in service and the website Yelp reports the office has closed. If you know what happened and if Dr. Gary has re-located, please let us know.

Walnut Creek

A new fitness center got up and running on Saturday. 24 Hour Fitness held a grand opening for its new location at 2800 N. Main St. The chain has another center down the street at 2033 N. Main.

A new place to train dogs is opening soon. Zoom Room will hold a grand opening in mid-February. The facility will feature indoor training facilities for dogs to learn obedience and other skills. Dogs are trained in groups or individually. The location is 7001 Sunne Lane, Suite 104, near the Pleasant Hill BART station. Phone number is 925-322-0667.

A Paper Source store is reportedly opening in April in the downtown area. This was first reported in the Beyond The Creek blog. Job openings for the store are also listed on several employment sites, although the shop isn't listed yet on the company's website. The specialty paper store's location hasn't been made public yet, but Beyond The Creek says it may be inside the building on Botelho Drive that used to house The Right Start store.

A new high-tech company is in town. Fast Pepper Solutions has opened an office at 1701 N. California, Suite 52. The phone number is 925-953-2056. The company provides Risk Management as a Solution and Technical Needs Analysis services.

The Carl's Jr. restaurant in the Citrus shopping center closed up shop on Friday. The Contra Costa Times reported the franchise's lease was expiring and the owner decided to close the restaurant at Oak Grove Road and Citrus Drive rather than renew.

Pleasant Hill

a consignment shop that specializes in the resale of women's clothing, shoes and accessories, has been open since Dec. 1. The shop is located at 1630 Contra Costa Blvd., Suite A. It's in the same complex as Melo's Pizza. The consignment shop is owned by Nancy Rondum and Sue Damhesel. The phone number is 925-808-8765.

 

Susan R. January 28, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Dr. Gary closed her practice in Lafayette a few years ago. She relocated to New Orleans, her home town, where she felt her medical contribution was greatly needed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Not sure why you are only noticing it now. I was one of her patients who was so sad to see her go, and had to find a new primary care physician to take her place (no easy task!).
Informed Citizen January 28, 2013 at 03:23 PM
It's the same with veteran primary care doc Bill Strauss, who served Lamorinda as a top internist in Moraga. Joining the ranks of young retirees who have taken flight from the tectonic changes coming as California embraces ObamaCare. I know of many more docs that are cashing in their chips. Candle not worth the game. We'll all be relegated to large unwieldy hospital-based groups, and as the shortage of MD's grows, quality of care will decline. European style Concierge service will thrive for wealthier cash-paying customers, especially those in large corporations and government, that don't feel the sting of skyrocketing premiums their employers overwhelmingly absorb. The days of small practice medicine are gone. The last nail has been hammered home. It's telling the 24-hour Fitness expands to a second location, down the street from the first. High end dog academies, my-kids-too-perfect tutors/schools, and personal improvement studios of all stripes filling some of the retail holes for the "me" generation.
Dive Turn Work January 28, 2013 at 06:37 PM
Women entering the field of medicine have actually done more to kill off "the days of small practice medicine" than ObamaCare and women entering the field of medicine have also greatly contributed to the shortage of doctors. But, don't let facts stand in your way when you can make some incoherent rant about Obamacare. There are many problems with Obamacare but the problems you list are largely unrelated.
Tess Schoenbart January 28, 2013 at 11:18 PM
What are the facts behind women doctors causing the decline of the "small practice medicine" and the shortage of doctors? Isn't a doctor a doctor?
Dive Turn Work January 29, 2013 at 03:15 AM
As a group, female physicians have been shown to prefer a balance between work and family life. Many female physicians desire to work part-time and have entered fields such as pediatrics and family medicine which tend to require less time at the hospital, as compared to a general surgeon, for example, who will be spending a great deal of time at the hospital - in surgery and rounding on patients. We are constrained by the number of doctors that we can produce. Residency programs must provide doctors with a thorough experience so that when out on their own they have a depth of knowledge from which to pull. If you expand or create too many resident programs there simply won't be the number of cases required to produce a good, talented, and trained doctor. Given a relatively constrained number of doctors that can be produced, the influx of women to the field, and many of these women working part-time once out on their own, you have a situation in which fewer patients can be seen. This is especially problematic as women have entered fields such as internal medicine or family practice since our aging population means a higher demand for these services, yet we have fewer slots available. As to small practices, look at female OB-GYNs. It's difficult to have a small practice if you want to work part-time and keep the number of hours at the hospital to a minimum. This requires that docs band together in large groups so that they can spread out coverage amongst each other.
Dive Turn Work January 29, 2013 at 03:20 AM
Z - Please note. I don't pass a judgment as to whether this good or bad and certainly don't think that women are less qualified than men. My point is that as we have increased the number of women in the field and many of these women want to work part-time to balance work and home life (a very reasonable thing), we are creating a new constraint within the medical system. We must figure out a way to deal with what is essentially a doctor shortage that's being created not by a shortage of bodies but by a shortage of time that many physicians want to work. When you factor in that most working professionals tend to marry other working professionals, many of these female physicians are married to professional husbands with comfortable incomes so the women really don't need to work full-time, meaning I don't see the need for more income to become a driving force to correct the situation. Thus, we must find some solution to this supply of time (versus a supply of bodies) problem.
lovelafayette January 30, 2013 at 05:10 PM
I recently read an article about studying who actually goes into primary care ( Family Practice, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine (without subspecialty)), and then selecting medical students for those predictors. #1 predictor is female sex. A huge change was seen in the quality of life for ALL primary care docs with the hospitalist movement, making primary care really an 8-6 job, no ER or hospital presence required. There are many female MDs who work the same FT hours as society, fewer MD's who are on call 24/7, the old male Marcus Welby model. The answer to the primary care shortage is not only minting more MDS. A faster response time is possible if we educate more RN/BSN nurses to become Nurse Practitioners, and allowed them independent practices. This is a ready pool of educated females to start training! Nursing educators ought to be pushing a fast track for BSN to NP and BSN to MD, including scholarships. However, this is NOT what the AMA wants! A bit of Dr. Gary's practice has remained in Lafayette, proof that small local primary care practices continue to exist. Shawnie Weibert, Dr. Gary's office manager moved up the street a block to join Avenue Family Practice. Tehmina Kanwal, MD is our full time female provider, Stephen Sommer MD the elder statesman of the duo. In the interest of full disclosure I am Suzanne Sommer NP, Avenue Family Practice
Dive Turn Work January 30, 2013 at 06:13 PM
I would agree that routine health issues should be bumped down to Nurse Practitioners. For common ailments and routine visits, there's no reason we need to waste a physician's time on such matters. A Nurse Practitioner could easily handle such things, increasing the number of patients that can be moved through the system and at a significantly reduced price. I'm really surprised most insurance companies and Medicare haven't demanded that patients see a NP for routine things.
Dive Turn Work January 30, 2013 at 06:15 PM
I'd also suggest that routine obstetrical care (a delivery that's expected to be routine and there's no history of prior problems) could be handled by a midwife and at home. An OB's time and the cost of hospitalization should be limited to those women who truly need such services and not those women who would do quite fine with a midwife or an at-home delivery.

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