It’s a good thing the Falls Church Medical Center does not need or rely on drive-by customers since there aren’t any.
The Falls Church Medical Center is invisible from Arlington Boulevard, hidden beyond a wooden fence, amidst a cluster of townhomes adjacent to Target’s Arlington Boulevard store.
To get there, new patients need a map, a compass or Google, but new patients won’t have trouble finding a spinoff of the medical center near Shirlington, where a team of doctors is moving to open the Arlington Medical Associates.
The Falls Church Medical Center is closing August 31. At age 69, it’s time for the center’s retirement, a makeover, or a move to a new location.
“The timing is right” to make changes, said Dr. Pamela Kasenetz, the daughter of the center’s medical director, Iver Kasenetz who is the only doctor who’ll be retiring. (He’ll be spending more time with his grandson.)
Falls Church’s internists (Pamela Kasenetz, Adrian Uy, Neil Vidwans and physician assistant, Kristin Vidwans) are setting up shop in the newly renovated offices in Shirlington while other doctors are going to other practices.
Last week some of them gathered around a table at lunchtime to chat between appointments.
Medical consolidations have played a role in the center’s new direction, but “we want to keep the model that’s worked well for us,” said Neil Vidwans. And they are taking it to Arlington.
It’s a “one-stop” practice where patients can choose their own physician and see that person at every visit.
At its height of business, the Falls Church Medical Center employed 26 full and part-time doctors and about 30 support workers of whom about 12 remain. Most have found other jobs, and some are joining the new practice.
Even now with business slowing, about 3,000 patients come in every month, said Michael Pickett, the center’s business administrator for 29 years who will continue at the new Shirlington practice.
(Said Pamela Kasenetz about Pickett: “We’re not letting a good thing go.”)
The Falls Church center started out in a house where Seven Corners is now, and moved to another building before permanently settling in 1962 at its present home at 6060 Arlington Boulevard.
Iver Kasenetz, one of the owners of the property, said the property will probably be sold, but tenants on the lower level of the building will remain.
He considered renovating the building but it’s probably “outlived its useful life,” would be “prohibitively expensive,” and current Fairfax County parking requirements made the decision to retire and move on easier.
There’s little doubt the new Shirlington practice will expand since one of its specialties targets weight loss using “a revolutionary medically managed” program, serotonin, and a “99 percent success rate,” according to a brochure displayed in the lobby at the old building.
Said Pamela Kasenetz: “We are taking new patients.”
Other doctors who are moving to new places are Herbert Golomb (who has already left to join the Skin and Laser Surgery Center) and Arnold Oshinsky (joining the Veterans Administration Hospital in Washington). Mark Dollard will continue to see patients at his Sterling office.