Clinic opens in Idaho Springs

John Scarffe, Idaho Springs.  Clear Creek County and Centura Health officials cut a ribbon at 4 p.m. on August 1 to celebrate the opening of a new primary care facility in Idaho Springs. The facility opened on July 17, and it is only one part of bigger plans for health care facilities in the county.


“This is a momentous occasion,” said Cindy Dicken, director of Clear Creek County Health and Human Services. “It’s a dream come true. It has been a journey. For six years, 10 months and a few days, I’ve been working on this project.”


The Centura Health Primary Care facility offers services such as chronic disease management, sports physicals, well-child exams, well-woman exams, asthma care, illness and injury treatment and x-rays for acute injuries. Located in the Jacob House, 115 15th Avenue, the clinic is first primary health care facility in the local community in six years.


The Jacob House is 127 years old, and it’s built to last, Dicken said. “I want the relationships to be built to last. We have always wanted Centura Health to be a partner, because they could bring quality, sustainable health care. We want to take care of people we have in common and be mindful of people looking for health and wellness.”


Dicken wrote a grant to the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, and with the grant the County was able to purchase the building. They looked at alternatives besides Centura, but last fall Centura came and toured the building, Dicken said. Then they renovated it and brought it up to Centura standards – above and beyond.


Bruce Martin, a medical doctor in family practice, serves and the main physician for the facility. He has been in Colorado for three years and practiced in Evergreen before he was asked to start the Idaho Springs clinic.


Martin said he started his practice in a small town in West Michigan, and his first office was in a converted house, so he is familiar with the concept of a neighborhood health center. He will be a family doctor dealing with primary care issues and has a laboratory.


Martin can work on same-day care such as colds, flu, small accidents and urgent care and can do x-rays, he said. For more serious injuries, patients will be transported to St. Anthony’s in Lakewood.


Martin’s office can take Medicaid and Medicare and most insurance providers except Kaiser Permanente, because it’s a closed system. He works with Centura’s department for credentialing.


Family Physician Kimberly Bentrott, who also has an office in Evergreen, will be at the Idaho Springs facility on Mondays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Martin will be in the office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.


Also in the office is Danielle Christian, medical assistant II, and he will be looking for a medical assistant, who qualifies as an x-ray technician to join him. “It’s a very small office and very personal. We will try to establish relationships over time.” Martin said.


The primary care facility is phase one of a larger project, Dicken said. The county bought a lumberyard at Soda Creek Road and Miner Street, where they plan to build a 12,000-square-foot collaborative care facility. They will be fundraising and grant writing for the facility within the next two or three months.


The facility needs to be bigger than the Jacob House and have the ability to house providers who can collaborate and look at the total health care needs of an individual, including behavioral health and public health. It also could include a job center and an eligibility technician for Medicaid and insurance, Dicken said.


Last February, the County had the ribbon cutting for an in-county commuter called the Prospector, a 14-passenger bus with a hydraulic lift, Dicken said. It starts in Georgetown and runs to the Dumont post office, Idaho Springs Safeway, the recreation center, senior center, the Shell station and the primary care facility four times per day.


Centura Health connects individuals, families and neighborhoods across Colorado and western Kansas with more than 6,000 physicians, 17 hospitals, two senior living communities, health neighborhoods, physician practices and clinics, home care and hospice services and Flight For Life Colorado.