VNA plans to close up shop in Hayden

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— The Visiting Nurse Association has tentative plans to close its Hayden office by the end of the month, but officials stress services offered to the community will not change.

The VNA is planning to vacate its office space within the Solandt Medical Clinic because the association is not using the space, said Marilyn Bouldin, the VNA's director of community care.

"Our services have moved into the homes of our patients," Bouldin said. "We haven't had a need for physical office space in Hayden."

To notify the community of the plan, VNA officials will be on hand for the Town Board's meeting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Town Hall.

For at least 17 years, the VNA has had an office in town to offer clinics and drop-in visits from patients.

During that time, the office has seen staffing from once a week to once a month, Bouldin said. However, in recent months the office has not been used

"For the past three months, we have not used the office," she said.

The VNA has plans to close its office by Oct. 1, which Solandt officials expect will then be occupied by a masseuse and a psychologist.

"They were not using the space, so we want to let someone else use it," said Kathy Hockin, who is a member of Solandt Board of Directors.

Once the VNA leaves the office, Hired Hands will expand its operations by using a portion of the office. Psychologist Chris Young also will use the office space, Hockin said.

"In order for us to maintain the building, it needs to be used," Hockin said.

Because the VNA will no longer have an office in town, Bouldin said services it provides to the community will not change.

"We will continue to have home visits," she said.

The VNA will also continue to work with the local school district by offering immunization clinics and will continue its senior wellness clinic, she said.

The VNA's program for infants will also continue, she said.

"If there are special situations or needs that arise and can't be taken care of by our offices in Craig or Steamboat Springs, we will make special arrangements," Bouldin said.

Another reason to let got of the office is patient visits have been minimal.

"We have an answering machine where patients can schedule appointments," Bouldin said. "We have not had requests for appointments."

The Solandt Clinic is the home to numerous health care operations and social services that include a dental practice, physicians, psychologists, LIFT-UP of Routt County and Northwestern Colorado Legal Services.

Solandt officials have assured the VNA that if it needs office space for clinics in the future the building will be available to them.

"The VNA has done a fantastic job of taking care of our medical needs," Hockin said.

"They simply were not a visible presence in the building, but they are a visible force in this community and that will not change."

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