Fort Fairfield breaks ground on new health center

Posted Oct. 06, 2012, at 5:24 p.m.

FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine — After four years of hard work, the forging of a unique partnership and a sizable financial commitment, residents in Fort Fairfield will soon be receiving vital health care a lot closer to home.

Town and state officials and representatives from Pines Health Services grabbed golden shovels Friday morning to break ground on the new Kimball Community Health Center.

The state-of-the-art primary care health clinic will be located on a green stretch of land on Harmony Lane. Construction is set to begin Monday with the first patients expected to come through the door in June 2013.

The $841,000 center will be developed and owned by the town. The municipality has entered into a lease and contract for services with Pines, a nonprofit physician practice management organization featuring providers from Caribou-based Cary Medical Center’s active medical staff.

Pines currently has offices in Caribou, Presque Isle, Van Buren and Limestone.

Funding will come from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, Fort Fairfield Residential Development Corporation’s senior citizens project, Pines and the town. It will be built without affecting the community’s property taxes and also will bring jobs to its citizens.

The clinic is being named after Dr. Herrick Kimball, who owned and operated Fort Fairfield’s first hospital, established in the 1940s.

Gary Sirois, a health care committee member who helped establish the project, said the new center will once again bring health care stability to the community.

Town Manager Dan Foster said the four-year effort involved three different citizen committees and the Town Council.

“The goal has always been for the community to have an open dialogue with a health care provider regarding economically sustainable health care services to our citizens,” he said. “The ability to establish a partnership that is mutually beneficial is paramount for the ongoing delivery of health care in Fort Fairfield.”

Foster said that owning the facility will allow the town to reduce the overhead costs to Pines, which in turn will enable them to deliver vital services while managing their costs.

The engineering firm B.R. Smith and Associates of Presque Isle has designed the facility and A&L Construction Co. from Presque Isle has been selected as the general contractor.

Jim Davis, chief executive officer of Pines Health Services, said the organization is excited to begin offering patient care.

“The town understands the unique financial challenges faced by health care providers,” he said. “Fort Fairfield’s ability to provide this facility was instrumental in assuring us that this partnership to provide quality, affordable and patient-centered health care to the residents of this community will be successful.”

To view floor plans of the Kimball Community Health Center, click here.

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