The doctor is in

Long-awaited collaborative care center opens in Idaho Springs

Corinne Westeman
cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 9/8/21

Last Wednesday, Clear Creek County Public Health had a new venue for its weekly vaccination clinic. After years of planning, design and construction, the county’s collaborative care center has …

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The doctor is in

Long-awaited collaborative care center opens in Idaho Springs

Posted

Last Wednesday, Clear Creek County Public Health had a new venue for its weekly vaccination clinic.

After years of planning, design and construction, the county’s collaborative care center has opened in Idaho Springs.

The two-story building at 1969 Miner St. houses the Centura Health clinic on the first floor and the county’s public health and human services departments on the second floor, along with Jefferson Center for Mental Health and the Clear Creek Advocates.

After driving by it often while it was being built, Floyd Hill’s Mike O’Donnell finally got to see it for himself when he attended the Sept. 1 vaccination clinic. O’Donnell, who did roofing work at the lumberyard that used to be on the site, thought the collaborative care center’s second floor had nice views.

“They’re just getting going,” he said of the new building.

County staff moved into the building on Aug. 18, and there are still a few smaller issues to work out and last-minute items to complete ahead of the grand opening, which is planned for early October.

Beth Luther, the county’s operations manager, said she’s working to acquire furniture for the first-floor and second-floor lobbies. The first-floor lobby will also feature a tenant directory and a donor wall, which are both in the works right now.

Also on the first floor is an unfinished suite that Luther said will be home to a physical therapy group, which has signed a three-year lease. The group was scheduled to finish designs this week, and once the suite is built out, the group hopes to move in this winter.

“It would be nice to have a (physical therapy) hub here,” Luther said, adding that going to the next closest one is a long commute.

Also on the first floor is a closet that Luther describes as “a room of opportunity.”

With broadband fiber cables less than 50 yards away from the new building, the county is working with the Colorado Department of Transportation to connect to those through a conduit under the parking lot and host a server room in the first-floor closet. Luther said internet service providers can then host racks in the server room to better reach their customer bases.

In a nutshell, this plan will allow the county to partner with internet service providers to expand internet access and make it more affordable for people across Clear Creek, she stated.

Meanwhile, in the parking lot, the county will be adding electric vehicle charging ports that will be able to charge four cars simultaneously, she said.

Moving up to the second floor, Luther explained that Clear Creek will be partnering with the Idaho Springs Historical Society to hang large historical photos throughout the new building. These will be similar to the ones at the main county building in Georgetown, she explained.

For the second floor, Luther said she’s waiting on furniture for the staff lounge and shared conference room. There’s also work to be done finishing the lobby, which will have a children’s waiting area and a small permanent food pantry.

Overall, county staff members said there have been a few kinks to work out with moving into a new building, but the space is great and feels like a true upgrade.

“We’re still growing and we want to accommodate everything,” Public Health Director Tim Ryan said. “It’s a building for the public.”

Ryan invited anyone visiting the collaborative care center to provide feedback on what they believe is a public need.

He used the second-floor food pantry as an example, saying that because not everyone can get to Loaves & Fishes when it’s open, the organization provided items for the county to distribute at the collaborative care center. This way, Ryan said, the two entities reach more people.

Ryan and Tammy Frey, who is the Human Services Department’s assistance programs coordinating supervisor, both said they appreciate being in a new space and anticipate a lot of collaborative work between the two departments.

Frey said the building’s arrangement will allow her to introduce clients to other personnel and resources while they are visiting her, and described the overall experience as a “one-stop shop” for people’s physical, mental and emotional health.

“It’s good to have everything in one building,” she said.

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