New emergency clinic opens in Avon |

New emergency clinic opens in Avon

Avon Medical Center can treat broken bones and dehydration, but sends life or death cases to VailNicole Frey
Nicole Frey/Vail Daily Leslie Ramirez holds a lead apron around her son, Jacob, as technician Tom Lawson prepares the 1-year-old for an X-ray.

AVON- Vacationing in Avon, Louisiana native Greg Holloway was enjoying his first day on Beaver Creek Mountain when he took a tumble trying to avoid another skier.Brushing it off, Holloway rode up the chairlift and did another run before the pain became too much. Surrendering the day, he returned to his hotel room. When the pain didn’t ease up, Holloway asked his wife to take him to a doctor. With the snow falling steadily and roads becoming ever slicker, Holloway was happy to discover his wife wouldn’t have to drive him into Vail for treatment. Less than two miles away from his hotel, the Avon Medical Center had just opened and was ready to treat him. “Avon is in the middle of the Vail Valley region,” said Sarah Moody, senior vice president of operations for the center. “The new center will offer better local and visitor access to emergency care without needing to go all the way into Vail. There currently isn’t anything like it available.”The state-of the-art Avon Medical Center opened Jan. 9 to treat minor to moderate trauma, ranging from broken bones and cuts to flues and dehydration. If the injury is too severe and risks a person’s life or limb, the clinic is able to stabilize a patient before sending him to the Vail Medical Center.

“It’s a service to the community to take some of the load off Vail,” said Charlene Kirby, a registered nurse and manager of the clinic. Sarah Ladd, spokeswoman for the Vail Valley and Avon medical centers added with the population of the valley rapidly growing, more satellite clinics are needed. The facility, an arm of the Vail Valley Medical Center, boasts a 5,300-square-foot clinic with specialty treatment rooms, including a trauma/cardiac room, an orthopedic room and an eye, ear, nose and throat room. The clinic also can do some lab testing and take digital X-rays. High tech

Holloway stood rigidly, a lead apron around his waist, waiting for technician Tom Lawson,to take the X-ray. Later, he could see his bones on a computer screen, instead of the old-fashioned negative against a light. 1-year-old Jacob Ramirez was less interested in having X-rays taken. He cried and reached for his mother as Lawson adjusted the machine. After being shuffled to two other clinics, Jacob’s mother Leslie Ramirez was more than ready to alleviate her son’s fever, which had reached 102 degrees. “This time of year, it’s so difficult to get into the Vail Medical Center,” Kirby said, adding inclement weather can make it hard to get to the hospital or a busy staff can keep people waiting. Although the Avon Medical Center will treat anyone who comes it, Kirby encouraged those who don’t need emergency care to see a regular doctor. Emergency care almost always costs more than a regular doctor’s visit. “If you have a sore throat, it doesn’t mean you can’t come here,” she said. “You just have to know it’s an emergency facility.”

Hours at the Avon Medical CenterThe Avon Medical Center is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day for urgent and emergency care. Staff Writer Nicole Frey can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14621, or Vail, Colorado

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