Health district board will discuss plan Aug. 5

The Mark Twain Health Care District board will discuss the proposedconstruction of a new Valley Springs Medical Center when it meets at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday in the La Contenta Golf Course Vista Grill.

District Executive Director Daymon Doss has already presented plans for the new center to the West Calaveras Rotary Club and the Valley Springs Area Business Association.

Wednesday’s meeting, however, is “more of a public hearing to discuss in detail exactly where we are in our process and show exactly what we plan on doing,” he said.

Doss said he and the board will discuss such details as the projected cost and funding.

The proposed center would sit on a 14.4-acre lot that is for sale at the corner of Highway 26 and Vista Del Lago Drive across the street from the Shell gas station. Doss said that the center will occupy 3.5 acres, and the remaining property would be used for future developments.

The proposed center’s schematics are that of a two-story building, totaling 18,500 square feet. It was originally proposed to be 15,500 square feet, but an additional 3,000 square feet were added to include a women’s health section and increased specialty care section to the plans.

“One of the things we have a problem with in the county is specialty care, so we found that very important,” Doss said.

The center will focus on primary care but also offer radiology, diagnostics, telemedicine and behavioral health. The projected cost is between $6 million and $6.5 million, but Doss said that “we haven’t finalized all particulars.

This new center will replace the 5,000-square-foot building that is currently the Valley Springs Medical Center. The existing center shares a parking lot with Pizza Factory across the highway from the proposed site of the new center.

Doss said that the existing small building isn’t serving the needs of the Valley Springs community.

“The waiting room is often packed full and we can barely take new patients,” Doss said. “We need to provide more services in Valley Springs. I think the district board recognizes the Valley Springs area has been underserved and that we need a better service for the thousands of folks that live in the area.”

Doss said the Mark Twain Health Care District is currently in escrow with the seller, and is awaiting final determination regarding studies that may be required by the California Department of Transportation. The studies would address a stoplight that is planned for the intersection of Highway 26 and Vista Del Lago Drive.

“We know they’ve already studied the area, but don’t know what additional studies they may require from us,” Doss said of Caltrans.

Also, the Mark Twain Health Care District will buy the land with its own funds, but is are pursuing a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan for the construction of the center.

Construction on the new center would ideally begin in April 2016, Doss said.

“We’re a ways down the road. We haven’t finalized the agreement to buy the land, but we just wanted the opportunity to gather more public input and questions.”

Doss said the feedback he has received thus far has been “very positive. There have been questions regarding services, hours, if we’d be open on weekends. I’ve heard no negatives about our expanding,” he said.

The Aug. 5 board meeting is open to anyone. Doss said that it is the first in a series and that he will try to have future meetings later in the day to allow more people to attend.

Contact Joe Klarer at joe@calaverasenterprise.com or 498.2076.

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