New Snowmass Clinic now open in Base Village
The walk-in clinic is an outpatient arm of Aspen Valley Hospital’s network of care
Brought to you by Aspen Valley Hospital
In the span of 12 years, a plan to relocate the Snowmass Clinic to a custom-built facility was delayed by the Great Recession and a global pandemic, but the anticipation ended when the new clinic opened its doors on July 1.
A lower-cost alternative to the emergency room for non-life-threatening conditions, the walk-in clinic serves as a quasi-urgent care option in Snowmass where patients can have convenient access to basic medical care, imaging and physical therapy.
“This is a bigger, brighter facility that’s really going to improve the patient experience,” said Dr. Gibans, medical director of the Snowmass Clinic.
The Snowmass Clinic is an outpatient department of Aspen Valley Hospital, open to walk-in patients seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. No appointment necessary. Virtual visits may also be available, please call to inquire.
The new clinic also includes space for rehabilitation services on-site.
For more information, visit aspenvalleyhospital.org/Snowmass-Clinic or call 970-544-1518. For more information about rehabilitation services available, call 970-544-1177.
Dr. Gibans and Kelly Hansen, the clinic’s practice manager, have been with the Snowmass Clinic since 1991 and 1992, respectively. When they moved into its Village Mall location in the winter of 2008-09, the thought was that it would be temporary and they’d stay for maybe two years. Twelve years later, they’ve learned a lot about what a functionally-designed clinic space could provide in terms of efficiency and quality.
Both Dr. Gibans and Hansen used that experience to help design the new space with staff and patients in mind.
“This new clinic is really designed for what its purpose is — it was built from the ground up as a (walk-in medical) clinic,” Hansen said.
Other simple conveniences such as parking — the parking garage has spaces specifically designated for clinic patients — are also expected to improve the overall experience.
“There will also be a drop-off point right out front for buses and hotel vans,” Hansen said.
Dr. Gibans and Dr. Kimberly Levin are the clinic’s two on-staff emergency medicine physicians, supported by registered nurses, EMTs, X-ray technologists and physical therapists. The Snowmass Clinic also offers limited laboratory services, and a new X-ray machine will deliver stronger, more reliable imaging services.
The Snowmass Clinic can treat patients with illness or injury. They see a lot of urgent issues such as lacerations or fractures, but anything that requires more serious intervention or testing such as a CAT scan would be sent to the emergency room at Aspen Valley Hospital.
“If someone’s pretty sick and they need more than basic testing, or they’ve had major trauma, we want them to go to the emergency room,” Dr. Gibans said.
Safety measures in place for COVID-19
Aspen Valley Hospital and its network of care locations, which include the Snowmass Clinic, have implemented a COVID-Clean Pledge to ensure medical care is provided in a safe environment.
“You can have peace of mind that we are taking every precaution to see patients and treat patients in a safe and clean environment,” according to Aspen Valley Hospital. “This is paramount because putting off treatment, especially for chronic conditions, can cause greater problems down the road and is a threat to our patients’ and our community’s health.”
Due to COVID-19 and because Snowmass Clinic is a walk-in clinic, there are extra screening measures in place for all patients. A nurse will be screening patients over the phone from the front door to assess whether the patient is allowed into the clinic. Anyone with respiratory complaints will not be allowed inside. Dr. Gibans said protocols could change depending on the state of the pandemic.
“Unfortunately, what’s true today may not be true in two weeks and we may have to change things,” he said.
Highlights from Aspen Valley Hospital’s COVID-Clean Pledge (for a complete list, visit http://www.aspenvalleyhospital.org/covid-clean-pledge):
- Universal masking of staff, patients and visitors at all times.
- All staff and visitors are screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
- Seating in waiting areas has been reconfigured to allow for physical distancing.
- Magazines and reading materials have been removed from waiting areas, except those required by law.
- Surgical and obstetrical patients prior to induction are tested for COVID-19 prior to arrival and screened upon arrival.
- AVH’s Environmental Services department is highly trained in cleaning protocols for infection prevention.
- All disinfectants are approved for use against human coronaviruses.
- Housekeeping provides additional cleaning of high-touch surfaces.
- Equipment is thoroughly disinfected after each patient use.
- Staff are not permitted to work if they have any COVID-19 symptoms, and they must follow strict guidelines set forth by the employee health department in order to return to work.
- AVH took a highly proactive approach to securing and protecting its supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) that has allowed us to treat all COVID-19 patients with protective measures that exceed CDC recommendations.
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Mario Ruiz came to Aspen Highlands from Bariloche through the ski patrol exchange as part of the Sister Cities program last winter. He quickly ingrained himself with the Highlands patrol. Ruiz was killed July 27 in an avalanche while working at his home ski area. The Highlands patrol is raising funds for his family.