Medical clinic brings healthcare back to a rural Colorado community

Doctor patient
A primary care clinic will open soon in Idaho Springs, a rural area of Colorado.

Healthcare services will soon return to Clear Creek County in Colorado with the opening of a primary care clinic.

The first medical clinic the mountain community has had in years is scheduled to open in May in Idaho Springs, according to The Denver Post. Centura Health has signed a five-year contract to operate the primary care clinic in the same building that once housed a practice that closed in 2011 because of staffing issues.

There is currently no doctor’s office or hospital within miles of the towns located in the county, the newspaper said. An emergency medical facility is the only source of care for about 9,000 residents and tens of thousands of motorists who pass through those communities each day.

As a result, people go without healthcare and new businesses have been reluctant to move to the area. Clear Creek County Commission chairman Tim Mauk said the clinic is important for both reasons. 

Clear Creek County isn’t the only rural community that has faced the closing of its healthcare facility, which can create a crisis affecting residents, caregivers, employers and the community at large. Both financial and technological struggles are putting the future of rural hospitals in doubt.