Multnomah County Health Department Headquarters is located on Northwest Sixth Avenue between Hoyt and Irving streets in Old Town Chinatown. It shares a block with Bud Clark Commons near Portland Union Station. The location is accessible for health department clients and community members and easy to reach by transit. The new building, named as its predecessor was for former Multnomah County Chair Gladys McCoy, is meant to bring together scattered Health Department programs and staff. Construction is scheduled to begin before January 2017 and be completed in 2019.
Building a new headquarters for the Multnomah County Health Department is a high priority for the County. There is an urgent need to replace an aging, inefficient and undersized building and meet the increasing demand for health services. The new-nine story Health Department headquarters will have a brick exterior like its historic Old Town neighbors, but with a lighter shade of brick to communicate an “optimistic” view ahead. The majority of roof area will be covered by an ecoroof. No vehicular parking is proposed. A bike room, with 55 parking spaces, will be accessed from NW Hoyt Street. The 9-story 150,000 square-foot building will bring together health department programs and mental health and addiction staff who now cram into separate downtown offices; some badly in need of renovation.
The design includes a client drop-off zone with covered walkways edging the glass walled window where art might hang. The ground floor includes a pharmacy and leasable space. Staff can tuck their bikes into a safe storage room before heading upstairs to offices and clinics. The Multnomah County Health Department serves all 748,000 county residents. It operates the largest safety net clinic system in Oregon: a federally qualified health center with 33 different primary care, school-based, dental and specialty clinic sites. The Department also is the Local Public Health Authority responsible for disease prevention, health promotion and public education.