Extended Hours at High Plains Health Center Provides Additional Care for Patients



“We’ve been discussing the expansion of our services at High Plains Community Health Center, especially to offer more access to those services,” explained Chief Executive Officer, Gene Sobczak. “Just before Thanksgiving, we’re going to bring in service on a 24/7 schedule, seven days a week.  This means you can call High Plains to schedule appointments so you don’t have to wait until we’re open and more importantly, we’re going to offer nurse triage services where you can detail any health symptoms you or a family member might be experiencing, and they can be addressed immediately.”

Sobczak added the service will offer bi-lingual communication and there will be providers who can respond to prescription requirements or refills in the middle of the night.  He added this service will not be offshore, but based in the U.S. and will be live so callers won’t have to deal with a recording prompting you to press your keypad numerous times to connect with someone for assistance.  He explained the call-in process won’t require anyone to go to extreme lengths in explaining their medical history as that is online and available to qualified medical providers who are responding to their situation and needs.

“People don’t get sick just when High Plains is open, so we’re developing this service as part of our general goal for immediate response and hopefully, immediate relief without having to make an emergency room visit when the need isn’t completely critical.”  Sobczak said this can also provide some relief for our neighbors, Prowers Medical Center.  “Currently in the absence of any urgent care in our area, folks will engage an ER for overnight or off hour medical problems.”

For 2024, he added, we’ll gradually expand our same-day care services and we will extend those hours.   Our clinic now takes sick calls from 8am to 10am and we’re extending them from 8am to 8pm for those who don’t have an appointment.  Sobczak said more specific details will be announced closer to the end of this year.

He added that Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Claire Reed, will utilize her experience with working with providers while High Plains is taking steps to attract additional medical providers.  “Colorado and the federal government offer a loan repayment program for new hires and the clinic is offering a three-year contract for those providers who come to rural areas of the country to practice,” Dr. Reed stated, adding the program can help pay down medically based tuitions.

Reed said the clinic will also assist patients with becoming more proactive in their own health care beyond just a 15 minute visit.  We intend to conduct more follow-up as we reach them at homes, making sure they are keeping up with their medications, their diets and their on-going health condition.  We want to be able to make sure we can check all their health-oriented bases such as mammography, prostate care, pap smear, colon health and more.  There are other areas such as food insecurity, high blood pressure checks, diabetes and so forth.  High Plains wants to provide the tools where our patients can manage their own health needs with our assistance.

By Russ Baldwin


Filed Under: City of LamarConsumer IssuesFeaturedHealth


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