OREGON COUNTY -- Oregon County Economic Developer Edd Hatten announced recently that he had submitted an application for a federal community block grant for $300,000 to build a medical clinic at Alton.
A meeting was held recently at Alton to discuss the clinic. The community was well-represented at the meeting.
The proposed clinic would involve both Oregon County and Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains.
Hatten said the clinic would have state-of-the-art diagnostic technology such as radiology, a playroom for children, a helipad for emergency air transportation, at least six examination rooms and parking space for patients.
He said other services that he would like to see are a mobile mammography exam unit and clinic space for specialists who will be at the clinic on a rotating basis.
Hatten told those present at the meeting how community involvement has been to important to the grant process.
He said how the Wiggs family -- Edwin and Nella and Maurice and Beth -- have donated two acres at the junction of P Highway and P Lane west of Alton to build the facility.
The only current medical office in Alton is in a residential area of the city with few parking spaces, limited patient accessibility and only three examination rooms.
Currently OMC provides a doctor and family nurse practitioner at the Alton Clinic.
The cost of the new facility is $600,000 and the Oregon County Commission has said it will have money to cover the difference between the grant and the facility's total cost in the way of donations and in-kind help. The facility will be leased to OMC for five years.
Hatten said he is pleased with the efforts made by the county commission concerning the project.
"The commissioners need a pat on the back for the help they have given my office and the community on the clinic project. They have the vision to see the improvements needed in our community. They can see how important it is to a company interested in moving to our area that the infrastructure and quality of life to that company's employees are important. It is important for any company scouting an area to have basic needs for employees such as health care," Hatten said.
Officials from OMC said they are pleased to be involved in the project and have enjoyed a good working relationship with Oregon County.