Mercy opens clinic in Aztec

Diagnostics to be in space with Durango Urgent Care

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	Matt Littleton, of Durango, hangs the Patients Rights and Responsibilities in the lobby of the Mercy Diagnostic Services clinic Thursday afternoon in Aztec.</p> Enlarge photo

LINDSAY EPPICH/Herald

Matt Littleton, of Durango, hangs the "Patients Rights and Responsibilities" in the lobby of the Mercy Diagnostic Services clinic Thursday afternoon in Aztec.

Mercy Regional Medical Center will have a presence again in Aztec, when it opens a diagnostic clinic there Monday.

Mercy Diagnostic Services will share a 4,600-square-foot building with Durango Urgent Care, the same independently owned and operated clinic it partners with at 2577 Main Ave.

A portion of the Mercy-owned Aztec medical center, located at 604 S. Rio Grande Ave., will be available for lease to medical providers.

The address is the same location where Mercy provided outpatient physical therapy for a number of years, spokesman David Bruzzese said Thursday. The building was leased for a time but then fell into disrepair. It has been fully rehabilitated and 600 square feet added.

Laboratory work and X-rays will be among the diagnostic services available at the new clinic. People who need blood analysis or who think they have a fracture or that a bout of pneumonia is coming on will find help, Bruzzese said.

The clinic also will offer the Direct Access Testing Program, which consists of 40 self-ordered tests, the results of which are mailed to the patient.

The Aztec clinic puts health care at the fingertips of northern New Mexico residents, Mercy CEO Kirk Dignum said in a statement.

"Keeping care close to home is one of our goals," Dignum said. "Our reception in the Aztec community has been wonderful. We feel welcome here."

Health-care providers in northern New Mexico or providers in La Plata County with patients who live there can use the diagnostic clinic, Bruzzese said.

Aztec City Manager Josh Ray thinks the clinic will be in great demand.

"There's a huge need for urgent-care medical services here," Ray said. "A lot of our employees or spouses have to go to Durango, which is a lot further than going here in town."

The clinic location is ideal - in a section of town that officials have designated for development, Ray said.

Kim Carpenter, deputy CEO of San Juan County, said the clinic will fill the void left by the departure of a former clinic. "When a health-care provider commits to improving the life of citizens, we're for it," Carpenter said.

A ribbon cutting and open house will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday.

daler@durangoherald.com