Featured Story Written By Jacob Chavez

Medical Offices at Ivinson: One Year Later

An in-depth look at the first year of the Medical Offices, and a preview of what’s on the horizon for the facility.

Vitals Sept 14

opening day

On the morn­ing of August 7, 2017, the then-new Medical Offices at Ivin­son offi­cially opened their doors and began seeing patients. That day, members of the commu­nity and employ­ees alike shuf­fled through the medical office build­ing (MOB) for the first time. Those that happened to be in the build­ing on day one, no doubt, noticed the tall ceil­ings, grand fire­place and the unmis­tak­able aroma of new carpet and fresh paint.

The entirely new build­ing set out to make patients the top prior­ity by simpli­fy­ing the process of seeing providers, giving patients access to day-of test results and allow­ing guests to be able to avoid Laramie’s severe winter weather condi­tions. The addi­tion of a covered walk­way and park­ing garage, the first in Laramie, gave patients the option to skip the cold and take an eleva­tor directly to the MOB or to hospi­tal admitting. 

More­over, the new medical offices offered patients some­thing even more valu­able than that — unity. The build­ing, which is just over 27,000 square feet, made it possi­ble for all of Ivin­son Medical Group (IMG) to move their clin­ics onto the hospital’s main campus. Now, patients are able to see their primary care provider and get imag­ing and lab work done, all in one visit.

To every­one who played a part in the construc­tion and plan­ning of the MOB, that warm morn­ing in August was much more than cutting a ribbon and turn­ing on the lights. For many, that morn­ing was the real­iza­tion of years of hard work, plan­ning and long hours, all in the name of offer­ing better care for patients. 

Because of this work, the new facil­ity was able to open on time and begin seeing patients imme­di­ately. No one, however, could have predicted what would happen next.

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period of growth

Over the next year, the MOB would take on a life of its own. Within the first few months, several new outpa­tient providers and service lines joined the Ivin­son Medical Group team. By Decem­ber, Ivin­son was now home to a new geri­a­tri­cian, a derma­tol­ogy provider and an otolaryn­gol­o­gist, all services which were not previ­ously avail­able through IMH.

I don’t even know how we would have antic­i­pated or guessed that we would’ve grown so quickly,” said Colleen Lang, prac­tice manager for Ivin­son Medical Group. We didn’t antic­i­pate the posi­tive response to this build­ing and the services we offer, and that it would lead to such a dras­tic increase in patient visits and requests for specialty care.”

The amount of growth gener­ated by the open­ing of the MOB came as surprise to many. We have seen growth every month, essen­tially, since we moved in,” Colleen adds. 

And, as it turns out, this growth was not just limited to patient visits — the new facil­ity has also piqued the inter­est of prospec­tive providers look­ing for work in the region. Having the medical offices has made recruit­ment so much easier,” says Holly Zajic, chief oper­a­tions offi­cer for IMH. Since the open­ing of the MOB, Holly adds, we’ve been wildly success­ful with our recruit­ment efforts — we finally figured out the secret recipe for physi­cian recruitment.”

And if you ask Holly what the secret recipe’ for recruit­ment is, she will tell you, It’s early conver­sa­tions and being prepared… [It’s our] team of A-player physi­cians in place, along with our outstand­ing staff, that make people want to come here.”

By April 2018, plans to add an entirely new clinic, as well as a new pedi­a­tri­cian to the Pedi­atric and Family Care clinic, were well under­way. That month, with the addi­tion of two OB/GYN providers to our staff, the new Women’s Health Clinic at Ivin­son was brought into the world (yet another first for Ivinson).

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moving forward (and upward)

Ivin­son Medical Group’s rapid expan­sion may have been a surprise to most. As Colleen notes, it wasn’t in the 6-month plan.” 

In the last year, IMG’s clin­ics and service lines have grown so much, avail­able space in the medical offices is now spent and the facil­ity is at capac­ity. Even so, IMG is look­ing to keep the momen­tum going as it works to bring addi­tional, highly requested services and clin­ics to Laramie residents.

By the end of next year, Holly explains that the hospi­tal plans to add an addi­tional general surgeon, a new midwifery program (that is currently in the works) and, by Octo­ber, the addi­tion of a new urologist. 

With plans to further expand Ivin­son Medical Group’s services, the hospi­tal now faces the unique dilemma of where to put every­one. Holly asserts that this is a good prob­lem to have, and one the hospi­tal planned for when design­ing the building.

As it stands now, the plan is to build up, not out, which means by the end of this year, construc­tion will begin on the addi­tion of a new floor, atop the MOB. Some have spec­u­lated that the new addi­tion to the MOB will connect to the third floor of the hospi­tal; however, Holly antic­i­pates that this will not be the case. It’s simply not possi­ble with the planned layout for the reno­vated third floor.”

The key with the third floor is that we can be ready for what­ever kind of inno­v­a­tive health­care options there are on the hori­zon,” clar­i­fies Colleen.

final thoughts

While the medical office build­ing may have started out as cold steel and concrete, the warmth of the build­ing truly comes from the staff, patients and visi­tors it serves each day. What was once just a draw­ing on paper is now a place of heal­ing and care for those who reside in our rural region. And with so much growth in just a single year, it is certainly an excit­ing time to work at Ivin­son, and the begin­ning of an excep­tional chap­ter in our hospital’s history.