The new Essentia Health clinic building in Pine River will officially open its doors Monday, Nov. 23. Any patients needing care should remember to go to the new building on Barclay Avenue southwest of the stoplights between Pine River State Bank and the Pine River Post Office..
"We're moving the entire operation from the current clinic to the new facility," said Bill Palmer, vice president of operations. "A lot of what's in the new building is brand new, but we do have some things that are going to be relocated from the old clinic to the new. Some of that work is going to be done this week, and the rest we will do on the weekend."
In spite of excitement over a project that some locals doubted due to long delays, COVID-19 safety precautions have eliminated any possibility of an in-person grand opening. However, for patients, the new clinic will offer more than double the space of the old location (17,000 square feet versus 8,000), a built-in pharmacy that opened in October, and new services.
"It's going to allow us to support providing additional specialty care and outreach services and expand those in a way that we haven't been able to do in the old clinic because of space limitations," Palmer said.
The clinic will continue screening measures for anyone entering the facility. All entrants must also wear a mask for safety of both the staff and patients.
Though the clinic can't show off with a grand opening, Palmer is still excited.
"I'm really excited about our ability to grow our specialty care services," Palmer said. "We've just had such limitations on what we've been able to do in the current building due to lack of space. It's going to allow us to expand some services that are already there and add to services that haven't been there and we'll be able to offer going forward. Most significant will be orthopedics."
The new space will also allow more OB-GYN services, which were a recent addition to the old clinic. Expansions will also be made to podiatry, urology and behavioral health.
The new clinic space also is equipped for both on-site visits and virtual visits. Palmer said patients have been reacting well to virtual visits. As they become more familiar with the new space, the quality of care is expected to continue to grow.
"As we get into the space, services and offerings will continue to evolve over time," Palmer said.
Travis Grimler may be reached at 218-855-5853 or email@example.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Travis.