GARNER, Iowa - There's a new choice for medical care in North Iowa. After about 7 years of discussion and planning, the Iowa Specialty Hospital is expanding into Hancock County.
During an open house on Saturday, visitors were able to check out the exam rooms, labs and offices, while also able to enjoy some refreshments. Bev Templeton was one of them.
"We're lucky to have this clinic here and have so many doctors in the area. There are many small towns that don't have that opportunity and they have to travel quite a ways to get decent healthcare. We are very lucky in that respect."
She currently goes to the Belmond clinic, and is thankful for the opportunities closer to home.
"They would be able to get your lab work done here, they said. I would still have to go to Belmond or Clarion to have a mammogram done, but other than that, it sounds like they're going to be able to cover everything here."
The clinic will offer all kinds of services, including family, sport and occupational medicines, orthopedics, podiatry, weight loss management, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, surgical services, a maternity center, and counseling and therapy services.
Dr. Renee Diamond will be one of the staffers at Garner. She says being able to be an outlet for those services, especially for counseling and therapy, is key, as the mental health discussion has taken center stage statewide.
"We started hiring counselors just a couple of years ago, and that's the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to primary care. Having that access has been critical to help people."
For the network as a whole, they're looking at establishing more services.
"We have crisis lines for patients. We have access to where we can get help. We've had some tele-health exposure in the ER so we can find people placement when that's needed. We keep building services where we see the need for them."
Because of the central location of the new clinic, officials say the are they serve could draw in people as far as Minnesota.
The Garner clinic will begin seeing patients on Monday.