Though there’s a state border between Moffat County and Wyoming’s Carbon County, Craig medical expert Pamela Kinder still sees the adjoining areas as being one. That’s an attitude she and her staff have maintained recently, and it’s worked very well for the entirety of the region.
It was last July when Craig practice Kinder Family Clinic first began offering services at a satellite office in Baggs, Wyo. More than a half-year later, the newer site — which replaced the Noyes Clinic that closed in March 2012 — continues to thrive with medical services as well as a new addition.
David Dingman, a therapist from Rawlins, Wyo., recently began providing mental health services to the Kinder Clinic. Dingman specializes in addiction therapy as well as nicotine treatment, family therapy and suicide prevention.
Dingman said suicide prevention is a key issue within Wyoming, with the state’s per-capita suicide rate one of the highest in the nation. Though residents of Baggs are no more at risk for suicide than in any other city, having services immediately available is important, he said.
“Alcoholism and addiction are prevalent in our county, and that’s always a factor,” he said.
Numerous family issues can add to suicide, as well, Dingman said.
Addressing the mental health concerns of the smaller town south of Rawlins was something Dingman had wanted to do for some time, but having the Kinder Family Clinic as an outlet helped him come closer to that goal, as well as the assistance of the Little Snake River Rural Health District.
“They were really instrumental in getting this going,” he said.
Kinder, a neurologist who has been part of Craig’s medical scene for nearly 20 years, said the objective of providing services to Baggs residents is to put to use the building formerly known as Noyes, which still functions finely and prevents Baggs families and individuals from traveling an hour for something that could be handled within their own town.
“Blood tests, blood pressure checks, allergy shots, things like that, so they don’t always have to drive all the way down here for that when they could have a 10-minute appointment,” she said.
Kinder said former Craig resident Dr. Thomas Told regularly commuted to the Noyes Clinic when it was still in existence, and chiropractor Craig Rummel and physical therapist Rich Sadvar have also provided services in Baggs.
The Baggs office is regularly staffed Monday through Thursday, and members of Kinder’s Craig staff travel up to Baggs at least once a week. Among the features there are trained EMT’s, an X-ray machine with a certified technician and more.
Situations requiring Emergency Room services will continue to be referred to Craig’s The Memorial Hospital.
As for mental health, Dingman’s presence in the satellite clinic helps address health topics that are not unique to just Northwest Colorado or south central Wyoming, Kinder said.
“It’s a very important service, and the way it works is we can refer people to him, and he can recommend if they should be on antidepressants or other medicines for addictions, so we’re working to help people that are struggling,” she said.
The sentiment is mutual on the other side of the border.
“The Kinder Clinic’s done a great thing in Baggs, and I’m grateful for what they’ve done for that community,” Dingman said.
Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.