For more than 30 years, Dr. Leyton Jump has tended to the aches, pains, irritations and major illnesses of the residents of Tenino.
“My patients don’t want me to retire, but I can’t live forever,” he said.
While Jump plans to transition into retirement in a year, his clinic, Tenino Family Practice, will remain open under the ownership of Valley View Health Care.
The clinic is Valley View’s 12th, said Linda Tomasheck, marketing director for the organization.
Valley View hosted an event Thursday on the clinic’s first official day under its wing, complete with soft-serve cones from The Ice Cream Truck, to introduce the organization to Tenino and the clinic’s patients.
Changes so far include the addition of bilingual staff to better serve Spanish-speaking patients and a new records-management system.
“The good news is it’ll be a lot of the same,” Tomasheck said.
Valley View hired Jump and his staff when it took over the clinic. He has a one-year contract, and plans to retire when it is up.
In the future, Valley View will likely also add behavioral health services at the clinic, Tomasheck said.
“I suspect in not too long, we’ll have that available,” Jump said.
Valley View is a non-profit community health center, meaning it sees all patients regardless of their ability to pay. It offers a sliding scale for payment based on a person’s income. Valley View receives federal funding and is subject to reporting requirements that ensure high quality service, Tomasheck said.
“There’s going to be a lot of advantage,” Jump said.
Because of Valley View’s status as a community health center, it can pass on serious savings to patients on medications, he said.
Jump came to Tenino three decades ago after beginning his career in a more populous area in California.
“I grew up in Portland,” he said. “I really enjoy living here.”
After building his practice and raising a family in the Tenino area, Jump is ready to seriously consider retirement, but he said he didn’t want to abandon the clinic.
“The issue is about 66 percent of my patient population are on Medicare and state programs,” he said.
Unlike many private practices, Tenino Family Practice had an “open door policy” for low-income patients and Medicare recipients. Jump feared many of them would struggle to find affordable medical care if the clinic did not remain open and welcoming to them.
Before Valley View stepped in, he spent more than two and a half years searching for an organization or individual to purchase his practice and keep the Tenino clinic open.
“I had zero leads,” he said. “I wanted to keep the place open for the city of Tenino.”
Furthermore, he wanted his employees to retain their jobs.
Valley View Health Centers satisfied all of those requirements, he said.
“I believe there are people in Tenino who are able to get medical care because Valley View is here,” he said.
Jump has no concrete plans for his retirement, but imagines taking leisurely rides on his 1959 BMW motorcycle, more actively participating in Lions Club activities and training for triathlons.
“I don’t see myself getting bored,” he said.