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Ground is broken Monday for new Antonito Clinic

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 7th, 2012

Breaking ground for the new Antonito Medical Clinic on Nov. 5 are, from left: Antonio Gurule, Clinic Operations Administrator; Konnie Martin, SLVRMC COO; Russ Johnson, SLVRMC CEO; Ray Carbutt, District Board Member; Debra Vance, District Board Member; Lois Weldon, District Board Member; Cheri Crowder, CCH/SLVRMC Board of Trustee; Jan Gay, CCH/SLVRMC Board President; Donald Shawcroft, CCH Board Past President; Rosalie Sandoval; John Sandoval, Conejos County Commissioner; Kathy Romero; Steve McCarroll, Conejos County Commissioner; Jennifer Sandoval; Brian Jackson, PA-C; and Vaughn Jackson, MD. Courier photo by Keith R. Cerny

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ANTONITO — In an emotional speech when ground was broken for the clinic at the town’s south entrance Monday morning, Brian Jackson, PA–C said, “I personally want to thank you all because this is a dream come true for me.”

Conejos County Hospital’s current Antonito Medical Clinic on Main Street lacks room for growth, but while plans to move had often been discussed, financial limitations caused delays. “This has been quite a while in the making and it is a big day for us,” said CCH CEO Henry Garvin.

He acknowledged recent grants from the El Pomar and Caring for Colorado foundations with providing almost half of the project’s funding; the remaining costs will be covered by the CCH Corporation.

“I want to recognize the Antonito Town Council who came forward and said ‘let’s work together; let’s figure out how to get you guys this land,’” said Garvin, explaining that they reached a deal on the lot south of the railroad depot this summer.

Additionally, Conejos County is pitching in.

“The road and bridge crew is going to help with some dirt work to make this project go a little quicker,” said Conejos County Commissioner John Sandoval. “This is just a nice example of when folks get together and they don’t care about obstacles. It seems that every time there was a new hurdle, someone would step forward and have a way to cross that.”

Because of the recent consolidation of the La Jara clinics into one downtown location, the vacated medical building on the hospital campus will move to Antonito and be remodeled inside and out. “It will look like a brand new clinic,” Garvin said, referring to an architectural drawing that shows a Santa Fe style exterior. “Because we’re able to use this building, as opposed to building a new one, it is going to cost us about a third of what the project would have,” he said.

The new clinic also means that CCH can immediately apply for rural health clinic status which allows for greater Medicaid reimbursement.

“And it will give Brian Jackson, PA-C, a much nicer building to provide care in and see patients,” Garvin said, adding that future plans include bringing in a second provider.

It is anticipated that the new clinic will be operational by January 2013.

Noting how his staff has worked together to provide medical care to the community in the older building, Jackson looks forward to what the future holds. “It is just onward in my opinion.

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