BUTTE, Mont. - It's not too often that a ribbon-cutting ceremony happens one year after the establishment opens for business. But the service being offered, quality medical care to the citizens of Butte-Silver Bow, is what really matters.

The SCL Health Medical Group finally held the aforementioned ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new clinic on Harrison Avenue on Wednesday morning. And the lateness of it is somewhat symbolic.

After all, the cancellation of last year's grand opening ceremony for the new clinic joins staffing shortages and reduced access to resources on the long list of medical adversities faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But a year later, the health scene in Butte is flourishing, with COVID rates among their lowest on record, and the new clinic offering another means to immediate medical care for those who can't quite make the trip to St. James Hospital uptown.

"When we looked into some of the early planning phases, we realized that a large percentage of our patients actually live out in what we call the 'flats' area, or this part of town," SCL Health practice administrator Chad Paul said. "We were very excited to have an opportunity to put a clinic kind of where the community is."

That additional factor of convenience could have a greater effect than you think. Having a medical care option closer to home for many translates into more examinations, earlier detection, and an overall increase in the city's combined health.

"When people see care, we focus a lot on our quality of care too, so this helps close quality gaps," Paul said. "It allows people to come in and, with a focus on quality, we have the ability to better the health of the community because we can catch things earlier."

The extra breathing room also brings specialization, as SCL Health now has the space and resources to provide additional services in ear, nose & throat, gastroenterology, childbirth assistance, and more.

SCL Health also has plans to revamp the amenities uptown at St. James Hospital to be on par with those at the new downtown clinic. It's all part of their plan to provide the best possible health care no matter where you live in the Mining City.


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