New Facility Coming Soon!
Progress continues on Modoc Medical Center’s (MMC) New Facility project. The site work is being completed by White Bear Construction. At this time, the city water line from Hwy 299 to 8th Street is in place. Most of the geothermal line that will be used to heat the facility is in place, the sewer main lines are all installed and the sewer laterals to the facility are complete. Nagel Street, which will become the city street used to access the facility, has been brought to grade and the curb and gutter on the facility side of the street have been poured. The water retention basin and storm drainage system are complete. The connections for water, sewer and geothermal to the future Skilled Nursing Facility have also all been completed.
In the next couple of months, the following tasks will be completed for the new facility: irrigation and domestic water service, building pad preparation, Nagel Street and driveway paving, Hwy 299 and Nagel Street intersection completion, Nagel and 8th Street intersection completion, trenching for electrical service to the transformer, installation of water loop around the future facility, and other related tasks.
Because the District elected to perform the site work this year in lieu of 2019, the project has faced some challenges. These are primarily related to obtaining all the necessary permits from the agencies involved in hospital construction and this project. This has caused some delays in the construction schedule for the site work. It took longer than anticipated for MMC’s team to obtain the necessary encroachment permit from CalTrans and create the deceleration and left-hand turn lanes required to provide access to the new site from Hwy 299. The original CalTrans encroachment permit was going to require removal and replacement of a significant portion of pavement on the highway to create the appropriate left-hand turn pocket. This was unplanned in the budget for site work and would have cost MMC an estimated $80,000 in additional labor and material costs. MMC’s team members have been working with CalTrans to lessen the required work for that portion of the permit and are expecting a rider to the encroachment permit to be issued by the end of this week. Performing the site work this year will allow the facility to open earlier than originally planned so all of the additional efforts will be well spent.
In addition, it took MMC’s team longer than anticipated to get a permit from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OSHPD) for the portions of the project that have to be permitted, inspected, and approved by OSHPD. This also has caused delays to the work, as those portions of the work had to stop until the permit was issued.
Kevin Kramer, CEO for MMC stated, “We are happy with the work that White Bear Construction has done on the site so far. They have been good partners with us and have been fair and transparent with our team. Like many projects, we have encountered some challenges but overall the project continues to move forward nicely. We are all hoping that the weather cooperates with us for a while longer, so that much of the paving work can be completed this year before it gets too cold.”
It is anticipated that Swinerton Builders will start construction on the buildings in April 2019. The project is still anticipated to be completed and open in the early fourth quarter of 2020.
Our Laboratory continues to expand its services and is now offering state-of-the-art Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing for Respiratory and Gastrointestinal (GI) disease-causing organisms.
PCR is a method used for making copies of short sections of DNA from a small sample of genetic material. This process is used to detect the genetic material of bacteria or viruses that are causing an infection. The purpose of this test is to identify specific pathogens in order to better and more accurately treat patients. This, in turn, eliminates unnecessary and expensive antibiotic treatments. This will also help us avoid unnecessary hospitalizations, while still aggressively treating patients whose illness may be life-threatening.
The Respiratory panel can detect 20 different dangerous infection agents, such as different flu strains, whereas the GI panel can detect around 22 high-incidence disease-causing agents.
The utility of this new testing method will provide improved diagnostic accuracy and will allow results to be ready in about an hour. This will further enable our Providers to give patients more accurate and timely treatment and potentially save lives, especially those of children.
Tele-Dermatology at the Clinic
Our Family Practice Clinic is now offering Tele-Dermatology! MMC is working with DirectDerm to offer dermatology consultations to our patients.
DirectDerm helps to connect patients and referring physicians to the leading dermatologists through a secure web and mobile platform for timely, affordable consultations and accurate and comprehensive diagnoses and treatment plans.
With this program, a patient will come into the Clinic for a visit with their primary care provider who will examine them and take photos of the skin condition. The photos will be sent via electronic submission to a Dermatologist who will recommend a treatment plan to be carried out by the primary care provider. Should further dermatological assistance be needed, a referral to a local Dermatologist can be made.
DirectDerm is assisting us in overcoming a healthcare barrier that we face here in Modoc County; our remote location. DirectDerm services are covered by most health plans, and they also offer an affordable self-pay option.
We are excited to be able to partner with DirectDerm to offer this great new service to our patients. Schedule an appointment with your provider to see if this service is right for you at 530.233.7052.