East Helena's new health care clinic will open Monday to provide dental, mental health and primary care to people in East Helena and as far away as Boulder.
A Friday afternoon tour showcased the combined efforts of PureView Health Center, Intermountain and East Helena Public Schools to create a clinic in East Helena to address the community's health care concerns.
The clinic, located at 250 Academic Street on the Prickly Pear Elementary School campus, still smelled of new paint as PureView Executive Director Jill Steeley led a tour of the dental suite, offices, therapy and examination rooms.
Intermountain behavioral health specialists will work with patients Mondays through Thursdays. A dentist will be available Tuesdays, while a dental hygienist will work Thursdays. Primary care will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well, while the front office will receive daily prescription drop-offs from the pharmacy for patients to pick up. The clinic's hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Steeley said the new clinic will be more convenient for parents of sick children, and other patients who live in East Helena and outlying areas.
"It's open to the public, the community of East Helena, Townsend, Boulder, the North Valley," Steeley said. "At PureView we see 800 people from those communities a year at our main site (in Helena)."
The new clinic will not only help lighten the load at PureView's main clinic; it also will provide much needed mental health services.
"There's a tremendous amount of pressure for psychotherapy in the community," said Intermountain Chief Executive Officer Jim Fitzgerald.
"While seven miles might not be that far, if you're a single parent and your car isn't working, if you need behavioral health or primary care, it's here," Fitzgerald said.
East Helena's school district paid for the building housing the clinic. Superintendent Ron Whitmoyer said the integration of the school and the clinic into the same campus was an "exciting" part of the project.
Steeley added that the combination of school and clinic would help reduce absentee rates.
East Helena students will not need to spend as much time out of class to visit the clinic in their own town, Steeley said, which "reduces the stigma of seeking behavioral health support."