The Times-Independent

San Juan Health Clinic comes to Spanish Valley

Construction of the San Juan County Health Department’s third clinic is well underway on the San Juan side of Spanish Valley, but when it might open other than next fall remains uncertain as COVID-19 continues to disrupt supply lines.

Construction is well underway on the San Juan Health Department’s outpatient clinic in Spanish Valley at Spanish Valley Drive and Old Airport Road. Photo by Doug McMurdo

So said Jimmy Johnson, the department’s chief operating officer, on Monday. The roughly $11.8 million project will offer services not only to San Juan residents, but to anyone who goes there for care, said Johnson. “We go from pediatrics to geriatrics,” he said.

Construction began in early December. The family practice outpatient clinic will provide laboratory and imaging services among many others.

“We’re excited to come to Spanish Valley and offer this service,” he said. “We feel it’s a very high-quality product.”

While it’s normally true that competition is good, Moab Regional Hospital CEO Jen Sadoff and MRH board member Doug Fix 17 months ago asked Grand County to oppose the building of the clinic as they saw it as unfair competition since the clinic is a government entity funded with tax dollars and MRH already serves the area.

The then-Grand County Council was split over whether to oppose the plan, at least officially. Chair Mary McGann and Member Evan Clapper supported the idea of writing a formal opposition, but then-members Curtis Wells, Rory Paxman and Jaylyn Hawks preferred to write informal letters to the San Juan Commission as they didn’t want to be seen as interfering in another county’s projects funded through the Community Impact Board, which is providing the bulk of funding to the San Juan Health Clinic.

In any event, the plan was approved, leaving some Grand County officials to question the motive behind the clinic at a time when thousands of Navajo Nation residents in San Juan County south of Blanding go without meaningful health care.

There are health clinics in Blanding and Monticello.