Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Good health care news out of Shasta County, California

Ed Fletcher files another story out of Shasta County, California, in today's Sacramento Bee. The dateline is Round Mountain (population 122), about 30 miles northeast of Redding, and the headline is "Community health center expands to meet rural need." Here's a short excerpt about the center and its history:

In addition to the wide-ranging medical care, the clinic serves as the community library and has become the de facto town hall for the communities of Round Mountain, Montgomery Creek, Ingot and Hillcrest.

"We are the only game in town for several square miles," Dorroh [the center's CEO] said. "This is where the community turns to."

The center had a humble start in 1985 in a double-wide trailer. That and a second double wide added later were destroyed – along with most of the community – in the 1992 Fountain fire.

On June 19, the surrounding community of 4,600 is expected to celebrate the grand opening of the sparkling expansion, which has received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in Washington, D.C..

The story also discusses how the UC Davis School of Medicine is training doctors willing to serve rural areas and partnering with health care providers like this one to practice telemedicine, which permits "rural patients access to urban specialists through video conferences."

In addition, Fletcher's story notes that the center's expansion is intended to accommodate growth, as Round Mountain and environs are increasingly exurban to Redding, population 88,954.

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