New Colorado City medical facility awarded $650K to subsidize operations, increase patient benefits

ST. GEORGE — With construction less than a month from completion, the new medical facility coming to Colorado City, Arizona, has been awarded $650,000 from the Health Resources and Services Administration.

The New Access Points program awarded over $50 million this year to 77 health centers across 23 states, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. Creek Valley Health Clinic was among three organizations to receive the award in the state of Arizona.

Hunter Adams, project director and acting administrator for Creek Valley, told St. George News that the monetary award subsidizes some of the clinic’s operations, but benefits exist outside of the funds. The award helps the clinic increase its Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, ensure eligibility for loan repayment for providers and lower pharmacy costs for clients.

“This whole program is just so incredible for communities like ours that are underserved and kind of far away from assistance,” he said.

In return for the award benefits, Creek Valley Health Clinic will be held to a “strict code of compliance,” which is the nature of receiving state and federal issued funds.

Dixie State University students and other volunteers work to lay new sod at the clinic’s community health center location, Colorado City, Ariz., Aug. 15, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Creek Valley Health Clinic, St. George News

In order to meet these standards, Adams said the clinic will hire a full-time employee tasked with recording and reporting necessary information to government entities, such as what expenditures the funds are allocated to and how many patients are benefiting from the established programs.

Additionally, he said, the clinic will be required to provide 20 services on-site or through a third party, including diagnostic laboratory and imaging, immunizations, OBGYN care and pharmaceutical services. Transportation, insurance assistance and health education are also included under the clinic’s scope of practice under “enabling services.”

Adam said it is astonishing how quickly the clinic is growing, even before opening its doors, and it is the community who has made it possible.

“Most of the recipients of this award have a long history of being a rural health clinic … or they have been in operation for some five, some 20 years.”

In accordance with the award, Creek Valley must begin accepting patients on or before Jan. 8, 2020.

Creek Valley Health Clinic’s community health center, Colorado City, Ariz., Sept. 16, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Hunter Adams, St. George News

Creek Valley contractors have completed the wiring, plumbing and drywall. After the paint has dried, the next steps are to wrap up the floors, cabinets and final touches before furniture can be moved in. Adams estimates construction to be completed by Oct. 15.

After construction is finished, the clinic will need to seek out a certificate of occupancy in order to get a license from the Department of Health. Creek Valley will also be working to get the electronic medical record functioning and complete the necessary on-boarding and training for its staff to meet human resources regulations.

Creek Valley Health Clinic is projected to bring approximately 20-25 jobs to the Short Creek area, which comprises Hildale, Cane Beds, Apple Valley, Colorado City and Centennial Park.

“We’ll definitely try to employ as many locals as we can,” Adams said. “All candidates are welcome, and we would love to have them apply.”

The clinic is currently looking to hire a chief financial officer, chief medical officer, director of quality and compliance, clinic manager, certified medical assistant and a nurse practitioner or licensed physician’s assistant. Volunteers are always needed.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.