The first thing people notice when they walk into the new Delta County Memorial Hospital West Elk Walk-in Clinic is that it doesn't look like a bank anymore.
"A lot of people have stopped in just to say how excited they are that we're here," said clinic manager Rae Sanchez. "A lot of them say, 'Wow,'" she said. They remember how the space looked when it was a bank and are surprised by how different it is today.
The clinic is located at 218 Grand Avenue. The public is invited to an open house this Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon. Sanchez said it's an informal affair. Coffee from the Coaltrain Coffeehouse in Hotchkiss and cider from Big B's Juices will be available, and food will be catered by the kitchen staff at DCMH. Tours of the newly-remodeled facility will be given, and staff will be on hand to answer questions.
West Elk Walk-in Clinic is an acute care clinic providing treatment for non-life threatening emergencies including minor illnesses and injuries. Hours are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and the clinic closes daily from 3-4 p.m. No appointments are necessary.
Sanchez emphasizes that the clinic does not have an on-call service and those needing emergency care should call an ambulance.
While the remodel of the former Bank of Colorado building is complete, DCMH is considering either purchasing pieces by local artists or featuring a traveling exhibit to fill the empty wall space, said Sanchez. A kid's play area is also in the works.
Paonia has been without a medical clinic for a year. The facility opened about two weeks ago, said Sanchez. Most of their walk-ins were students getting sports physicals and people needing treatment for things like ear pain and abdominal pain.
And while business at the clinic has been slow, once the public realizes it's open, "We expect it to get busy."
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.