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Aspen hospital to open ‘after-hours’ clinic in Basalt

John Colson
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

BASALT ” Midvalley residents needing off-hours medical care, mental-health counseling or help with cancer-treatment issues soon will be able to get all that without driving up to Aspen or down to Glenwood Springs.

The Aspen-Basalt Health Care Center, 240 Cody Lane, in the Southside area of Basalt, is expected to be functioning within a matter of a couple of weeks, providing services from the Aspen Valley Hospital After-Hours Medical Care Center, the Aspen Counseling Center and the Pathfinders cancer-patient support organization.

The new Hospice of the Valley already has opened its offices in the center, offering services for coping with end-of-life issues.



The next to open will be the AVH After-Hours Medical Care Center, scheduled start up on Feb. 16, with hours from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The new center is designed to offer residents a less-expensive option to hospital emergency rooms for those instances when a doctor’s services are needed for an injury or illness that might not require a trip to the emergency room.




“There are still times when people need to go to the ER, but for many conditions ” for example, upper-respiratory infections, flu, sprains, simple fractures, lacerations, urinary tract infections ” the after-hours clinic will allow for quick examination, diagnosis, and treatment,” explained Bart Outzen, director of diagnostic imaging at AVH and a leader in developing the clinic concept.

But, according to a statement issued by AVH, “The clinic is not intended to replace the personal physician.” For follow-up care after the initial treatment, patients will be expected to contact their family doctor or a specialist.

According to AVH, staff at the clinic will include registered nurses, X-ray technologists and physicians. More information about the after-hours services is available at 544-1250.

The full-time doctor on staff is to be Kiernan Smith, MD, a board-certified family medicine specialist, who holds a medical degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland. Most recently, Dr. Smith was an employee-health physician for a VA Hospital in Albuquerque, N.M.

Dr. Smith’s wife, Farrell McClain, MD, is also a family medicine specialist. She will work part-time at the after-hours clinic, covering several shifts per month.

The clinic is housed in a building leased to the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation, which is subleasing space to AVH and the other nonprofit organizations.

According to Kris Marsh, director of the foundation, her organization originally leased the building with the intention of providing space to a midvalley dialysis center, to be run by the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, as well as other organizations.

The CU center backed out after running into difficulties hiring staff, she said, but the foundation is hopeful that a dialysis service will be housed in the building in the future.

jcolson@aspentimes.com


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