Carson Valley Health Center to move to Minden |

Carson Valley Health Center to move to Minden

Linda Hiller

When a community grows, so must its medical facilities.

The Carson Valley Health Center will close its doors Oct. 12, ending a special time in the history of Carson Valley that will be recalled by those who took part in the large community effort which get the facility built in 1981.

Current Carson Valley Health Center Medical Director Dr. Mark Brune, said everyone at the center is looking forward to the move, although with some trepidations.

“We will have a better facility, with more beds and a larger lab, which we need, but we all like the small town feel,” he said. “This was built by the community, so it is special because of that.”

Brune said current employees of the health center will be going to the new facility, so patients should be able to see the same familiar faces.

Sarah Lawrence, who was born at Carson-Tahoe Hospital and grew up in the Carson Valley, began work at the center in 1988 as a nurse. Working there, Lawrence said it was nice to see people she knew from her childhood.

“People come in scared and don’t know what will happen to them and when they see a friendly face, it’s comforting,” she said. “I always thought some of the patients who knew me might be thinking, ‘She’s born and raised here, she knows us.'”

n Back home. Lawrence recently returned from a stint in Milwaukee, Wis. as the director of emergency services at the Milwaukee County Hospital to be closer to her family and to take the position of clinical coordinator at CVHC. She is the daughter of Valley artists, James and Geraldine Lawrence, and said coming home was a good feeling.

“I still get kids who come up to me at Raley’s, stick their feet in my face and say, ‘See? I’m all better!'” she said. “I like the small town feeling.”

Lawrence said the camaraderie among center employees was always close to the point where helping one another sometimes crossed odd lines.

“One evening, one of the doctors was delivering a baby and hollered to the nurse for some scissors,” she said. “The nurse was busy, so the clerk, who heard the call, came running in with a pair of office scissors. Since it wasn’t a sterile procedure, the doctor just used that pair.”

The new, facility inside the Minden Medical Center will be called Minden Emergency/Urgent Care and should be approximately three times the size of the current 4,500-square-foot facility, according to office manager, Stephanie Hoyle. The new location will have the same hours, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily and is scheduled to open Oct. 13.

Jim Stratton, who owns the building in the Stratton Center where the health center has been located for the past 17 plus years, said he has no definite plans for the building once it is empty, but hopes to keep it in the medical field.

n Still friendly. Services including diagnostic services, outpatient treatments, lab, radiology and X-ray services, urgent care and emergency treatment will still be available.

“We want to stress that we will make sure it has the same friendly atmosphere after we move,” Hoyle said.

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of the move, which is slated for the middle of the night in October, will be moving the huge donor board which lists the original contributors to the 1981 facility, Hoyle said.

“We just found out that the board can’t be moved intact, so all the plaques will have to be removed and replaced on a new board at the new facility,” she said.

Brune said a medical facility can’t stand still while the community around it grows.

“I like a small town, I have no desire to move to a city, but this town is no longer small,” he said. “When the center opened, there was a two-lane road between here and Carson City. Now it’s a four-lane highway.”

With growth, modernizing medical facilities is only natural, Brune said.

“My belief is that any rural area should be able to handle emergency services,” he said. “I see the move as positive. All these people counted on this facility and knew it was a stepping stone. I’m looking forward to a good move. I’ll miss the good old days, though.”

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