Charlie and Marilyn Johnson have lived in Independence for 27 years.

Twelve years ago, when Swope Health Services opened its clinic on U.S. 24, they were the first patients.

“We were No. 1 and No. 2. We’ve been very jealous of that position,” Charlie joked.

Now Swope has moved into a new space at 11320 E. Truman Road, and it made sure the Johnsons again were the first in line. Both are in their 90s and doing well.

“We see this as living proof that having a doctor can make all the difference in the world,” Swope CEO Dave Barber said Friday at an open house for the new facility.

“This is a beautiful facility,” Charlie Johnson said. “Second only to the people here.”

The $3 million clinic is one of eight that Swope operates across the metro area. There are two full-time health providers, and in addition to general exam space, there are two dental exam spaces and two spaces geared toward geriatrics. The clinic takes anyone who comes in, with or without health insurance.

“We see the demand for service going up in all areas,” Barber said.

Independence Mayor Eileen Weir called the building not only functional but attractive.

“It’s particularly nice to see the care that went into this building,” she said.

And she added, “This is such an incredible facility to have in the revitalization of Truman Road.”

Franklin Kimbrough, president and CEO of the Independence Chamber of Commerce, pointed out that health care is the largest segment of the economy.

“We thank Swope for the reinvestment in our community,” he said.