Med­i­cal Clinic con­struc­tion un­der­way

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

Progress is be­ing made on a new clinic in the val­ley, and res­i­dents can ex­pect to see River­side Med­i­cal Clinic open come June.

www. drumheller­mail. com re­ported on March 6 that Dr. Rithesh Ram, who has been prac­tic­ing since July 2015, in­tends to open a new clinic. This comes af­ter he com­mis­sioned a sur­vey look­ing into health­care needs in the val­ley.

Since then, progress has been made on a new lo­ca­tion at the River­side Health Cen­tre Build­ing on River­side Drive East.

Mayor Terry Ye­men sees the new clinic as pos­i­tive for res­i­dents and the com­mu­nity.

“We have a ser­vice area of 33,000 peo­ple and we want as many of those peo­ple out­side the cor­po­rate lim­its to make the trip to Drumheller for their med­i­cal needs. I’ve heard noth­ing but great things about the ad­di­tion of a new clinic in Drumheller. Hav­ing great ac­cess to health care is one of the ways we can at­tract re­tirees to Drumheller,” said Ye­men.

The clinic has re­ceived the nec­es­sary ap­provals from the town and Dr. Ram is work­ing with con­trac­tor Joe Cas­tonguay and in­te­rior de­signer Kristyne De Mott. There is a strong work­ing re­la­tion­ship as both have worked on the Ram fam­ily pri­vate res­i­dence.

‘’ We have been work­ing with the Rams on their new res­i­dence for two years now and it was a nat­u­ral tran­si­tion for us since our team and the doc­tors work so flu­idly al­ready.” De Mott says, speak­ing highly of their friend­ship. “It is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant to me to con­nect with my clients on a per­sonal level and de­velop a trusting re­la­tion­ship where they can be open and hon­est with me. So the sec­ond Rithesh told me about what was com­ing down the pipe: I was draft­ing plans, look­ing into elec­tri­cal and HVAC...all the im­por­tant as­pects of com­mer­cial ren­o­va­tion that needs to be looked at be­fore we can even be­gin the pro­ject.”

The vi­sion for the clinic in­cludes state of the art equip­ment and de­sign to help ad­dress the needs of the com­mu­nity. There are plans to in­cor­po­rate a phar­macy op­er­ated by Ray Ain­scough of River­side Value Drugs into the clinic, there will be a Walk-in Clinic on site with hours out­side of the nor­mal 9-5, as well as a mod­ern records and com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem.

“We have a state of the art phone sys­tem that will al­low the prac­ti­tion­ers to pick up their hand­set or an­swer the call on their mo­bile phone,” said Kathy Stark. “We have all our elec­tronic med­i­cal records (EMR) plat­form un­der­way and fur­ni­ture on or­der. The process has been ex­cit­ing.”

The clinic will make way for more physi­cians in the near fu­ture, in­clud­ing Dr. Kai­ley Buller who will be in the val­ley come July.

“I am in­cred­i­bly ex­cited to be start­ing a new chap­ter in Drumheller,” said Buller. “Af­ter spend­ing 4 months liv­ing and work­ing here as part of my train­ing, I can’t imag­ine start­ing my ca­reer any­where else. I have had noth­ing but won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ences within the com­mu­nity, and was over­whelmed by the num­ber of staff - both in the hospi­tal and out - go­ing out of their way to pro­vide guid­ance, teach­ing, and sup­port.”

Dr. Buller is a fam­ily physi­cian with a spe­cial in­ter­est in Sport and Ex­er­cise Medicine, Ob­stet­ri­cal and Women’s Health, and Med­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion. Hail­ing from beau­ti­ful Bri­tish Columbia, Buller com­pleted her un­der­grad­u­ate de­gree in bi­o­log­i­cal sci­ences at UBC-Okana­gan, while play­ing var­sity, pro­vin­cial and in­ter­na­tional vol­ley­ball. She be­gan her med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion at the Univer­sity of Al­berta and is cur­rently com­plet­ing her spe­cialty train­ing at the Univer­sity of Cal­gary. She plans to work in mul­ti­ple set­tings in Drumheller, in­clud­ing River­side Med­i­cal, acute care, long-term care, emer­gency care, low-risk ob­stet­rics, and (hope­fully) as team physi­cian for the many tal­ented ath­letes in the com­mu­nity. Out­side of her work as a physi­cian, she hopes to teach med­i­cal stu­dents and im­merse her­self in com­mu­nity events.

The con­struc­tion is con­tin­u­ing at a vig­or­ous clip.

“We have a lot com­ing down the pipe,” says Cas­tonguay, “but we jump in both feet, run a tight ship, and de­vote our time and en­ergy to our projects. Right now the clinic is red on the pri­or­ity list and we aim to com­plete the clinic on a very tight time­line for our friends.”

He says de­mo­li­tion is com­plete and the ren­o­va­tion of the top floor of the build­ing is 60 per cent com­plete with all trades in or­der. They were able to use nu­mer­ous lo­cal trades to ful­fill this pro­ject.

Sur­plus cab­i­nets, doors, and door han­dles are be­ing do­nated to the lo­cal Drumheller Hous­ing Ad­min­is­tra­tion (DHA), which will save the Hous­ing Au­thor­ity ap­prox $3,000 this year. The re­main­der of items will be do­nated to Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity and some lo­cal busi­nesses.

“Dr. Ram has a great vi­sion for the com­mu­nity of Drumheller and is plan­ning to live here long-term and serve the com­mu­nity,” said Cas­tonguay.

Dr. Rithesh Ram, Mayor Terry Ye­men and Dr. Kai­ley Bullar at the new River­side Med­i­cal Clinic.

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