Havre Daily News
The Bullhook Clinic's first week in business had no major snags.
Family nurse practitioner Connie White said the clinic's workers are “ironing out all the bugs.” She added that the clinic encountered just a few small problems.
The Hill County clinic, funded by a federal grant, began operations Dec. 19. The clinic is open Monday and Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with appointments scheduled until 6:30 p.m. It's in the county annex building.
Lori Evans, operations manager of Bullhook Clinic, said the staff didn't get rushed during the first day, which was good. The clinic saw both scheduled clients and walk-in patients. White said the clinic staggers appointments to allow plenty of time for walk-ins.
White said she saw about 17 patients last week with ailments such as colds, sinus infections and other common problems. She also aided clients with mental health issues, which she can diagnose, prescribe medication for and also refer patients to counseling. She said workers at the clinic helped people get appointments and transportation to Great Falls for dental work and medical specialists.
The clinic sees all categories of patients - those with Medicare, Medicaid, without insurance and with insurance. A co-payment for services is determined on a case-by-case basis.
She said the clinic hasn't been to capacity but has been busy, and she anticipates it getting busier. The employees are working on getting processes streamlined so the clinic can handle more patients, White added.
Near the week's end, things were falling into place.
“It's perfect right now,” White said at the clinic's open house Thursday.
Open house attendee Randy Hanson, regional development officer for the Montana Department of Commerce, said clinics like Bullhook are one of the needs he sees on the job. He covers 13 counties, including Hill County.
Hanson said he has been attending Hill County Health Consortium meetings, which are attended by both medical professionals and other community members and helped the clinic with fundraising and surveys.
Hanson said he has never had the need to go to a clinic like Bullhook, but has family members who have.
“There's been a lot of heart, blood and tears put into this clinic,” Hanson said.