Spanish Valley clinic on pace for November opening despite hurdles

Despite a host of challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic, construction crews are making progress on the new Spanish Valley Clinic of the San Juan Health District. 

The $6.4 million project is scheduled to be completed in October, with an opening planned for November.

The full-service family practice outpatient clinic will include 12 exam rooms and four treatment rooms, in addition to imaging facilities, including x-ray, ultrasound, and CT scan.

A pharmacy and education room will round out the new 13,500 square foot clinic. Officials estimate it will open with ten to 12 employees. 

The facility is located on five acres of ground on the corner of Spanish Valley Drive and Old Airport Road.

As a new planned community in Spanish Valley is developed on land held by the School and Institutional Trust Land Administration (SITLA), the clinic will sit on one of the main intersections.

San Juan County has purchased an additional five acres of adjacent property.

Construction expenses are budgeted at $5.4 million, with another $1 million for land purchase, equipment, and furnishings.

The Community impact Board (CIB) provided the major financing with a $1.4 million grant and a $4 million low-interest loan. The Health District will contribute approximately $1 million toward the project.

“The design of the new clinic is so we can afford it now, but it can grow as Spanish Valley grows,” said Chief Executive Officer Clayton Holt.  “It will have the capacity to meet ongoing needs for the foreseeable future.”

Holt said the district structured the project so it can be affordable, even with a low volume of patients to start.  He added, “The CIB allows us to establish that without taking on too much risk.”

“We are trying to be proactive in planning to meet the current and the future needs of our constituents in San Juan County,” said Holt. 

“A lot of patients are currently commuting from Spanish Valley and La Sal to Monticello and Blanding to see our providers.”

It is a difficult time for many in the construction industry, with supply issues, employee shortages, and rising material costs causing havoc.

Holt said that the district has been successful despite the challenges, adding, “So far the supply chain issues have caused a few delays but no changes in cost. We are still at budget.”

The executive team for the health district includes CEO Clayton Holt, Operations Officer Jimmy Johnson, Financial Officer Farley Crofts, and Nursing Officer Ashley Reynolds.

They oversee operations of the San Juan Hospital in Monticello and existing clinics in Blanding and Monticello.

Several years ago, the district opened a clinic in a rented facility in Spanish Valley. It eventually closed

The San Juan Health officials are celebrating the status of health care in San Juan County.

“The county has one of the best systems of rural health care in the country,” said Jimmy Johnson.  He added that the number of health care workers is remarkable for the population.

“We have three thriving health systems who are willing to collaborate,” said Farley Crofts. 

Crofts adds that San Juan Health is working with Blue Mountain Hospital and Utah Navajo Health System on a number of fronts, including sharing employees, equipment, and emergency management services.

San Juan Record

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