Tuesday marked one year since the Latah Community Health Community Health Association of Spokane clinic opened its doors on the first floor of the three-story Gritman Medical Center Office Building on South Main Street.
The clinic had been operating just a couple blocks north of its current location, but the lack of space convinced the clinic that relocating was necessary.
Amy Isbelle, the Moscow CHAS clinic administrator, said the clinic is now able to offer medical, dental, dietician and behavioral health services. It also has a psychiatric nurse practitioner who comes to the clinic once a month and then does telehealth services, or consulting over the phone, once a week to help with psychiatric medication management for the clinic’s patients.
“I think one of the advantages to coming here is that you have everything here,” she said.
The clinic’s 9,800 square feet of space in its new location is more than three times what was available at its old location.
Isbelle said she had an office at the former location, but she never spent any time in it because she would pass it off to the behavioral health provider. Isbelle said she would then sit at the front desk, but there she would often get in the way of the employees at that desk. Now, she has her own desk.
CHAS CEO Aaron Wilson said CHAS had received a federal grant to expand its dental services, but the Moscow clinic’s former location was too small for the expansion and for other services. Wilson said there were no designated behavioral health offices at the former building, and the new building allowed the clinic to expand its pharmacy as well.
“There was no room for any expansion services, so it all sort of lined up just perfectly where (Gritman) had this project that they were contemplating and we were looking for additional space,” Wilson said.
Gritman also owned the former building in which the Moscow clinic operated, so there was a good link between CHAS and Gritman from the start, Wilson said. He said CHAS was able to help design the space with patient flow in mind.
“When you’re talking about health care, it makes a big difference for staff as well as the patients that they’re in an environment that feels good,” Wilson said.
Isbelle said the clinic was offering dental services at its former location on Fridays, but it was only able to see about one patient per hour.
Now the clinic, which has one dentist, one hygienist and two dental apprentice students, can see many more patients than what the previous clinic’s location offered. Isbelle said the hygienist sees about nine patients per day while the dentist can see 20 to 25 patients. The new clinic has six dental operatories with an X-ray machine and TV in each operatory.
Wilson said many of the clinic’s patients are uninsured or have Medicaid, which many Idaho dental offices do not accept.
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