Washington Business Journal turns to Bellevue’s new Conway Health and Resource Center to examine the question “What’s the difference between a ‘clinic’ and a ‘health center’”? The correct answer, we ultimately learn, is everything.

On paper—and in reference to someone else—it’s actually quite a simple conundrum, really. If I or someone in my family is feeling kinda yucky, do I stay home and pop something over-the-counter, or do I go to a clinic or health center if the issue seems beyond my fabled healing powers? Also, what’s the difference between the two? How much will it cost? How can I pay—and can I pay in cash if I have no credit? Am I prepared to wait all day? And so on, and so on . . .

In real life—and in reference to anyone asking those questions—a lot hinges on not only the answer(s), but also on the choices made as a result of those answers. And while I’ve never personally pondered such a conundrum, my ignorance is quickly and unceremoniously bitch-slapped back to reality after realizing the breadth of considerations one must make in a situation that may be beyond bandaids and over-the-counter painkillers.

Conway’s Executive Director Kelly Sweeney McShane has wisely opted to avoid the term “clinic.” Read more to see why.


(Hey Washington Business Journal, you initially mention that Conway is in Ward 8, but later denote it as being in Ward 7:

“Our conversation took place in the window-lined waiting room for primary care at Ward 7’s Conway, one of D.C.’s newest “health centers, ” . . .”

Can you please fix that? The Conway Health and Resource Center is AWESOME, and we’d like to continue to claim it for Ward 8! Thanks—and keep up the great work!