Stansbury Springs Health Center is moving to a new location next week to give the clinic room to grow.
The clinic has been located across the parking lot from the University of Utah Health Center in Stansbury Park. Its new location will be in the strip mall next to Soelberg’s in Stansbury Park. The new clinic is opening Nov. 6.
Four physicians are currently practicing at the Mountain West Medical Center-affiliated clinic: pediatricians Amy Williams and Dawn Powell, internal medicine doctor Fatima Gangotena-Bernard and family practice doctor Jennifer Littledike.
Eileen Van Reusen, director of clinic operations at MWMC, said although the health center is only changing locations, the move will create the opportunity for a lot more growth in the future.
“We’re starting with the four providers that we already have,” she said. “But the new clinic will allow for a lot of growth. It has 15 exam rooms and two procedure rooms.”
Tim Moran, interim CEO at MWMC, said the main reason the hospital decided to move the clinic was so that it could expand into a larger space.
“Stansbury Park is a growing area, and we’re trying to grow with the community,” he said.
Van Reusen said eventually she hopes six full-time physicians will work at the clinic. Moran said the doctors that the hospital will bring in will be from outside MWMC.
Currently between 500 and 600 patients come into Stansbury Springs monthly. Moran said he expects that to grow with the new facility.
“Stansbury is a growing community, and the new clinic will also be accessible to people from Grantsville who might want a more convenient location for primary care,” he said. “Part of it is an outreach effort to get closer to the community, particularly with children’s care.”
Van Reusen said the new clinic will maintain the same hours as the old clinic, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., until the end of the year. Starting in January, it will offer extended hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
“We are going to extend the hours into the evening and be open for half a day on Saturdays beginning in January,” she said. “This is especially important for our pediatrics. We want to be able to offer those child services for the working parent.”
Moran said the overall strategy for MWMC is to try to have locations of primary care physicians be as convenient as possible.
“We have an office in Grantsville and we have offices in Tooele. Stansbury would be another example of that effort,” he said.
Moran said expanded services are a possibility at the new location as well.
“That could possibly include general surgery with a surgeon available there,” he said. “We want to have a few months there to operate and see what kind of response we get from patients first.”
Moran said besides general surgery, other services he’d look into for the clinic include orthopedics and geriatrics.
The building the clinic is in has been there since Soelberg’s was built, but work on the inside has been going on for about six months, Van Reusen said.
“Right now we’re putting the finishing touches on,” she said. “Phones are being installed and the carpeting and cabinetry is in.”
The clinic will also have x-ray facilities installed within the next six months.
One unique feature of the new clinic is a glassed-in pediatric waiting area.
“The kids can go into this glass room and close the door and make all the noise they want,” Van Reusen said. “It doesn’t disturb the other people waiting. We’ve also got a tiny potty in the waiting room that’s just for them to use.”
There will be two additional waiting rooms: one for sick adults and one for well adults.
“This is a new concept for us, and it’s progressive thinking for sure,” Moran said. “Nobody wants to be around a bunch of people coughing and sneezing when they aren’t sick. I think people will really like them. You don’t want to be spreading anything if you can avoid it, and these waiting rooms will reduce that likelihood.”
Moran said the costs for the clinic have been an investment.
“We have probably invested between $150,000 and $200,000 into the office,” he said. “We’ve brought in new technology, like modern scopes and a new phone system.”
In looking forward to the new challenges the country faces with health care reform, Moran believes there will be much more emphasis on addressing primary care. He said because about 33 percent of MWMC-affiliated clinics’ visits are for pediatric care, he wants parents and children to have a close relationship with their pediatrician to head off issues before they become serious and require an emergency room visit.
“When people receive health care on a proactive basis, it’s better for patient care and keeps people out of emergency rooms,” he said. “One of the things we want to do in this area is to get people to have primary health care relationships. It’s better for their health and less expensive in the long run.”