It was Wednesday afternoon, two days before the grand opening of Sanmaré and everything seemed fully operational already.
But that was the plan.
Sanmaré is Puerto Vallarta’s newest health clinic. It’s located at Blvd. Francisco Medina Ascencio 2735-9, just south of the new port where the cruise ships come in. Set back from the highway, it’s next to the big Soriana supermarket.
Doctors, nurses, patients scurried around as at any other time in any other medical facility because various elements had been operational for approximately two weeks. What was missing?
“Wall hangings! We need some color on the walls,” said Pam Thompson, the patient services coordinator. Hers is the first office down the hall on the right (after you check-in at reception, of course). And it is true, the white walls and bright fluorescent lights make the facility appear even more sterilized, maybe a little translucent and possibly even heavenly. “But the nurses and reception uniforms arrived today, and we’re finally on Google Maps so people can Uber here.”
It’s nothing like the teeny clinics you find on every other street downtown, and certainly too it’s not a hospital. In a way, Sanmaré is drawing a definitive demarcation of the line between the two. “We’re like a semi-walk-in clinic,” she said. “A full-service outpatient clinic, with lab and diagnostic services. We do take walk-ins but there’s a difference between urgent care and emergencies. If you’re having chest pain, go to the emergency room at a hospital. Not here.”
Many specialists have either set up offices at this location, or they rent the use of shared offices to maintain availability, and the services provided are generally informed by the specialists participating.
Thompson hasn’t counted the number of procedures that have taken place over the past couple weeks, because there have been a lot. “We’ve done lots of colonoscopies and endoscopes already,” she said. But surgeries—easily documented Operating Room procedures—number 6 already this week.
And the grand opening is yet to come.
It’s coming soon, Friday February 1st from 6-9pm. You may want to show up before 7pm, though because all the big speeches and announcements will happen at that time, and it will be followed by coordinated tours of the facility.
And be sure to take note of the wall hangings, because a lot of work will have gone into that between now and then.