Ravalli County Coverage

Jan 29, 2013 5:00 PM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News

New medical services coming to the Bitterroot

HAMILTON - Construction crews are just weeks away from completing the latest in a series of major projects at Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital, all designed to improve efficiency of the hospital's clinic and bring new services to the Bitterroot.

Workers from locally based Sirius Construction are working throughout the winter to complete the latest phase in a nearly $3-million project to bring new advanced clinical services to Marcus Daly Memorial's Hamilton campus.

"Well, what we're doing right now is combining two of our primary care clinics together to be able to give better access to our patients and to bring the clinics closer to our ancillary services so they're just steps away from anything they might need like radiology, or lab work. And so it just makes it easier for everyone. And then we have more doctors in one location so that we have better access," said Physicians Services Director of Marcus Daly Clinics Susan Wilkins.

The first phase of this construction project will be done in just a few weeks, in March. Then construction will start on the second phase with a target completion date of this coming October.

The Bitterroot Physicians Clinic combines the Bitterroot Clinic and Physicians Clinic in a single location for family practice and internal medicine. But the expanded services don't stop there. The Bitterroot Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Clinic has seen remarkable growth over the past year, helping the Bitterroot's aging baby boomers with their aches and pains.

"Yeah I would say the majority of our practice is those that are over 50, that came here to retire and are starting to have some aches and pains. Little less so than the 18-year old football player," Dr. Jeremiah Clinton with Bitterroot Orthopedics & Sports Medicine explained.

"In a year and half's time we've gone into a new clinic space. We've doubled the number of employees and we have seen over 1500 patients in the last year and a half. And a lot of that has been in the past three-to-four months. Things have really taken off recently," he added.

"The most exciting new project is our neurosurgery clinic. We will actually be having Dr. Richard Day join our staff. And he will be doing spinal surgery and then expanding his services as the need arises," Wilkins told us.

Hospital administrators say providing these specialized clinics is all part of Marcus Daly's goal to bring more services directly to the Bitterroot.

"And in order to do that it really is necessary to have the specialties that they need. And we're providing those. One at a time we're providing those, bringing them on board and hoping to expand into the future," Wilkins concluded.

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