Durango Mountain Resort clinic set to stay open in summer

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	Mercy’s clinic at DMR sees about 150 patients a month during the ski season and about half that during the summer. </p> Enlarge photo

NICK MANNING/Herald photos

Mercy’s clinic at DMR sees about 150 patients a month during the ski season and about half that during the summer.

The emergency medical clinic at Durango Mountain Resort is expanding the number of days it will be open startingMemorial Day weekend, Paul Gibson, director of emergency services at Mercy Regional Medical Center, said Friday.

The clinic, which has opened during the summer in the past, but not every day, this year will operate seven days a weekjust like it does during ski season.

“We were a ski-season clinic for more than 20 years," Gibson said. “We're more than that now."

The clinic, which is five minutes away from a Durango Fire & Rescue Authority station and has a place to land ahelicopter, is the center of an expanding service area that stretches from the south end of the Animas Valley toSilverton, Gibson said.

“We're in the process of making our prices competitive with other emergency clinics," Gibson said.

A nurse practitioner and a radiologic technician who staff the clinic can provide first-responder treatment for avariety of complaints, Mercy spokesman David Bruzzese said. Visitors can find relief for altitude sickness, hikers andcyclists can get minor injuries repaired, and area residents can be treated for strep throat or have a job-relatedphysical examination done, Bruzzese said.

Limited laboratory work - blood draws, urine analysis and throat cultures - is available, as are X-rays. Although bloodis sent to the hospital for analysis, X-rays taken at the clinic can be viewed immediately by emergency room doctors ororthopedic surgeons via digital diagnostic imaging, Bruzzese said.

The clinic sees 150 patients a month during ski season, Bruzzese said. In June and July 2009, the clinic had 60 and 75patients, respectively, he said.

In the shoulder season, the interval between the ski season and summer activities, visitors should be able to be seenimmediately, Bruzzese said.

daler@durangoherald.com