Delta County Memorial Hospital had several choices when deciding on a location for a new walk-in clinic in Paonia. Last winter, after considering numerous properties, it chose to locate in the heart of the downtown core and purchased the 6,000-square-foot Bank of Colorado building at 218 Grand Avenue. It immediately began transforming the bank into a spacious clinic with a large reception area, a staff lounge/kitchen, and examination rooms.
Last Thursday the West Elk Walk-In Medical Clinic hosted an open house.
The location provides great access and visibility, and tourists can easily find it, said DCMH Clinics Director Jan McCracken during the open house. "It fits the needs of the public."
The furnishings, both new and used, are comfortable. The reception workstation was donated by ProSpace+ Interiors, which contracted to install furnishings at DCMH's recently-opened West Elk Clinic in Hotchkiss. On the walls are numerous wildlife photos by Paonia photographer Cathy Schaffer and landscape images by Celia Roberts. All photos are for sale, and the clinic plans to feature works by other local artists in the future.
And while a smaller building might have worked for now, the area is growing, said McCracken. "We wanted a building that would grow with the town."
Certified nurse practitioners Margaret Stochosky and Candi Lowenstein are both recent arrivals to Delta County. They said they feel right at home both in the community and at the clinic, and believe it will serve the public well.
"Everyone that'd come in has just been so thankful that we're here," said Lowenstein.
Lowenstein said she and her husband were already looking to move to the area from Conifer, where for the past 10 years she commuted daily to Denver. The commute, compounded by recent growth in the Denver area, "was very intense," she said.
On a trip to Paonia she met clinic manager Rae Sanchez and felt a connection. The change of pace is very welcomed, said Lowenstein. "This place has its own pleasant intensity."
Stochosky and her husband lived in New Mexico, where she served for 17 years as a nurse practitioner. They saw Paonia as a good place to retire, said Stochosky. About three years ago they came to town to check it out, bought ice cream at Ollies, "and said we should move here."
Located at 218 Grand Avenue, the clinic is currently open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and closes from 3-4 p.m. Hours will be adjusted based on public demand and staffing, with a goal of being open seven days a week. It also has a job opening (visit www.deltahospital.org for more information). The clinic can be reached at 527-2100.
Two fatal accidents occurred in Delta County within a two-day span last week.
Casey Gillenwater, 25, of Delta was killed the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 13, in a single-vehicle rollover on Highway 133 outside of Hotchkiss.