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DCMH breaks ground on Hotchkiss facility

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Photo by Tamie Meck A groundbreaking ceremony for Delta County Memorial Hospital's new Hotchkiss Family Medicine facility was held Friday in Hotchkiss. Breaking ground are, from left, architect Thomas Chamberlain, contractor Jimmy Merritt with Stryker &

Delta County Memorial Hospital plans to open its new DCMH Hotchkiss Family Medicine facility by next summer.

"I think this is a great project for the hospital," said DCMH CEO Jason Cleckler at a Nov. 4 groundbreaking ceremony. "It certainly shows our ongoing dedication to health care across the entire county."

Cleckler thanked the board for its support in making the facility a reality, and the Town of Hotchkiss and Mayor Wendell Koontz for ensuring all the necessary permits were obtained and helping the process run smoothly. "I think it's a really exciting time for not only Hotchkiss, but for healthcare throughout the North Fork Valley," said Cleckler. "Our goal is for this to serve all of the North Fork Valley."

The architect is Thomas Chamberlain of Montrose. Chamberlain said he has worked on several projects for DCMH, including the Grand Mesa Oncology Center. "This is yet another great project," said Chamberlain.

Located in the 300 block of Hotchkiss Avenue, the new facility will have views of conservation lands and the surrounding mountains. "It's a beautiful place to work," said Chamberlain. The building's frame construction will be finished in a brick veneer. "It's going to be a beautiful structure with a little residential flavor to it so it blends into the neighborhood and doesn't look like a big box."

Montrose based Stryker & Company, Inc., was awarded the contract to build the 10,000-square-foot facility. "Although we're a Montrose company, we really take pride in using local subcontractors, because we know what kind of impact it has on the local area," said Stryker general manager Jimmy Merritt.

Stryker expected to start digging this week, with foundation work anticipated to begin later this month. If it all goes according to plans, "You'll see framing going in by January," said Merritt.

A year ago, the hospital opened DCMH Family Medicine in the office of Dr. Douglas Huene, said DCMH educating and marketing manager Patti Kalahar. "That has been wildly successful." After the North Fork Clinic in Paonia closed in August, business increased and they outgrew the space very quickly. In that time, the office has grown from two to three physicians, and they are currently seeking a fourth physician.

Some of the staff at the new facility will include Dr. Ryan Marlin, board-certified family medicine physician, Adam Zerr and Marie Matthews. All three are currently working at the Hotchkiss office. DCMH is also discussing the possibility of opening a satellite facility in Paonia, said Kalahar.

DCMH also explored the possibility of opening the facility in an existing building, and made the decision to build a permanent home in Hotchkiss. "It shows our long-term commitment to health care in the North Fork community," said Kalahar.

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