Construction is near for the long-awaited Mountain View Medical Group (MVMG) primary care clinic in Joseph. The $2.6–2.7 million building will be built at 800 N. Main St. in the city.

Chief Nursing Officer Jenni Word said the Wallowa Memorial Hospital has been preparing the project for about three years.

Although Joseph has an MVMG clinic in Joseph at 100 N. East St., the location has several shortfalls that keep the building from being designated as an official Rural Health Clinic. Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is just one shortfall with the building. The new building will be larger as well.

The new clinic will offer the same services as the present clinic. In addition, a licensed clinical social worker will spend time there offering behavioral therapy, counseling and similar services. A nurse care manager will administer chronic care management for those dealing with chronic illnesses.

In addition to six patient-exam rooms, a demonstration teaching kitchen, a conference room area and a behavioral health room will also be added.

Health coaches will be available to offer advice on chronic disease, healthy eating, weight management and other health concerns. It’s possible that a comprehensive health improvement plan class will be taught as well as other healthy cooking/eating classes.

Word said that the hospital is exploring ways to build a clinic in the lower valley for Lostine and Wallowa.

“We would love to expand and have services available in the lower valley,” she said. “Things we’ve looked at have not had the infrastructure needed, and we’re just looking for the right spot to make that happen.”

Kirby Nagelhaut Construction turned in the low bid on the project. Construction on the 2,360-square-foot clinic is set to begin no later than April 13. WMH expects construction to be completed by May of 2021 with the clinic opening for business sometime before that.

Word said that although the hospital has no plans to expand the clinic, it will be built in a way that facilitates expansion should the need arise.

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