|Wednesday, October 22, 2014||Search Our Site|
Comment on This Story / Send This Article to a Friend
New Community Health Center offers fresh options for those living on Wisconsin’s South Shore
Photo: The new Red Cliff Community Health Center is located on Aiken Road in Red Cliff, just outside Bayfield. The 35,000 square foot facility incorporates various aspects of the band’s culture throughout its design along with their commitment to sustainability via its environmentally friendly geothermal heating and cooling.
With the slice of a ribbon, the official grand opening of the Red Cliff Community Health Center marked a new era of healthcare for those living along Lake Superior’s South Shore.
Located in the heart of the Red Cliff Reservation just outside of Bayfield, the new $12 million facility was funded with a $10 million loan from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community along with $1 million generated from the current health center and grants from both the Department of Health and Human Services – Health Resources and Services Administration – and the Department of Health and Human Services - Indian Health Services.
The clinic, which opened for business on June 3 but held its grand opening in mid-August, replaces the Red Cliff Community Health Center that was built in 1997. For years, the clinic has been too small and wasn’t as welcoming to the entire region as the Red Cliff Band had wanted.
Since the new clinic opened, there has been an increase in patient volume, said Patricia Daragon-Nevarro, director of the Red Cliff Health Division.
“We have been extremely busy. We’re finding a lot of people are coming just to check things out and ask questions about what we have to offer, which is exciting for us,” she said. “We’re finding people maybe didn’t know we were open to non-tribal members or took those on Medicaid. This new clinic is good for us and good for the people living in our area.”
While the prior clinic was also open to the community, space limitations made it difficult to accommodate everyone who wanted services. The new building overcomes that problem.
To help get the word out about the new space, clinic officials currently are reviewing their marketing plan and what they can do to ensure everyone in the area knows the clinic is available for their use. Under consideration are items such as brochures and rack cards, along with a new visitor guide for Red Cliff. They also want to find ways to invite residents and companies to visit the clinic.
Completed on-time and under budget, the clinic contains 35,000 square feet versus 12,000 in the previous building. Additional services may be added. Requests for proposals have been issued to contract for optometry, physical therapy and chiropractic services on a limited basis. Potential expansions in other areas such as their dental program and behavioral health are being examined.
Bayfield Mayor Larry McDonald is among those who are proud of the band’s investment.
“I am pleased to know that our community has expanded opportunities for healthcare as a result of the opening of the new Red Cliff Community Health Center. Everyone benefits when our health is attended to on a regular basis,” he said.
Daragon-Nevarro said the design by DSWG is one of the stand-out features.
“The design is very welcoming for our community. Our heritage is showcased through a variety of cultural designs and elements throughout the facility,” she said.
They include a glass logo of the Red Cliff band, photos taken by community members, Woodland Indian floral designs and other cultural artifacts. Sustainability was also a key component to the facility, which features geothermal heating and cooling.
The core focus remains providing quality health care. To achieve this, a differentiating feature of the center is its open office concept. “There are no doctor offices,” Daragon-Nevarro explained. “The care manager, medical assistant and doctor all work together in an open office pod.”
The new office model allows them to work together more seamlessly than having a nursing station and doctor’s office that are separated. It is all part of the effort to deliver a patient-centered care model.
“This office feature is very different than what you’d see at most clinics,” Daragon-Nevarro said.
Bayfield Chamber Director David Eades is excited about what the Community Health Center means for the region.
“Access to quality affordable health care is such a huge part of why people choose a community, or are able to stay in a community. The new Red Cliff Community Health Center gives us a resource we’ve never had before, and I predict it will have a real impact on our quality of life and economic development in the region.”
Beth Probst is a freelance writer based in Iron River.Previous BusinessNorth Exclusives Articles:
BusinessNorth - The business news source for Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin.|
P.O. Box 16223, Duluth, MN 55816
Phone: 218-720-3060 Fax: 218-720-3068 email@example.com