New health building ‘will save lives’ |

New health building ‘will save lives’

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

The Summit County Council Wednesday joined the People’s Health Clinic in dedicating the new Summit County Health Department building at Quinn’s Junction.

The location on Round Valley Drive, which has rooms for patient care, an emergency operations center for coordinating during public health emergencies, conference facilities and health offices, will likely open Nov. 30. The People’s Health Clinic will lease about 20 percent of the building from Summit County for about $1 per year.

By partnering with the People’s Health Clinic, which serves people without health insurance, Summit County Health Department Director Steve Jenkins said more children will be immunized and expectant mothers will be healthier.

Babies might have a higher survival rate and be healthier because their mothers will receive prenatal care at the new facility, said Summit County Councilman John Hanrahan, a physician who helped found the People’s Health Clinic.

"There are rare instances of really heart-crushing tragedy when a baby [is] stillborn because the mom did not get prenatal care," Hanrahan said. "This clinic is preventing that for hundreds and hundreds of people in our community."

Before the move, county health officials in the Snyderville Basin were cramped inside offices on the ground floor of the Sheldon Richins Building, Jenkins explained.

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"One of the things that the health department hasn’t had in the Richins Building is flexibility. If we have immunizations, we have immunizations. If we have early intervention services, we have early intervention services," Jenkins told about 75 people who gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new building on Wednesday. "We don’t have the ability to have anything else going on during that time. Now we’re going to be able to have that."

Moving the Summit County Health Department from its former offices at 6505 N. Landmark Drive will provide public health nurses with more space for hosting clinics.

"Before, we had to coordinate with a lot of other organizations that wanted to use the building," said Katie Mullaly, a spokeswoman for the Summit County Health Department. "We now have a bigger lab space, we have more exam rooms and we have a training area."

The space vacated by health officials in the Sheldon Richins Building could be used to expand the library at Kimball Junction, Interim Summit County Manager Brian Bellamy said. The health department will still have offices in Coalville and Kamas.

Currently, there is not a bus in Park City that regularly serves the new health building at Quinn’s Junction. Those needing a ride should contact the Park City Public Works Dial-A-Ride Service at 640-7819 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.