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Health care options increase in Pocatello/Chubbuck area

The Pocatello/Chubbuck area welcomed two new health care facilities Friday, and one is still planning on more expansion. The HealthWest Community Health Center opened its office No. 8, even seeing patients during the ribbon cutting.

The other clinic, the Family Medical Clinic of Chubbuck, said their office is also busy, and it’s keeping costs lower for patients by using nurse practitioners.

Three generations of Barlows cut the ribbon to open their new clinic today, but this isn’t the first business they’ve opened.

“Our parent company is Need A Nurse Medical Staffing,” said Scott Barlow, director of business development. “Need A Nurse has been in business for over 20 years and we acquired the business in 2009.”

The Barlow family wanted to open a family medical clinic for some time and opened their doors in May, seeing 80 patients. Barlow said he, his father and grandfather chose the Chubbuck Road location to better serve the community.

“Chubbuck has been lacking in primary care providers,” Barlow said. “So having a centered family care facility is one thing we wanted to focus on.”

The new facility takes care of patients for any minor emergency, to general family care and can even do stitches for non-emergency and non-life-threatening injuries.

But they’re not the only clinic that has been busy.

“We’re probably one of the fastest growing organizations here in the greater Pocatello/Chubbuck area,” said Beth Mahoney, CEO of HealthWest.

Mahoney said even with their eight facilities they’re only filling about 20 percent of the need in the area. She said they have programs for everyone, from the fully insured to the uninsured.

She said a common problem is seeing people too late in a problem or condition to keep their care options cheap. Both she and Barlow said preventative care is the best thing you can do for yourself.

“Our goal is to try and avoid hospitalization, and to get people started dealing with their chronic care issues or even their urgent care issues,” Mahoney said.

HealthWest is also looking to open their first dental clinic in Chubbuck in August. Mahoney said dental health is especially important for overall health. She said getting into the habit of going to the dentist regularly is a good way to get into the habit of overall preventative care.

HealthWest has facilities in Aberdeen, American Falls, Downey, Lava Hot Springs, McCammon, two in Pocatello and now one in Chubbuck.

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