The city of Mills and the Casper-Natrona County Health Department (CNCHD) are working together to open up a new satellite clinic at the Mills Community Center.

Sabrina Kemper, community development director for Mills, said while they haven't finalized the plans for the center yet, they do plan on leasing the building to the health department in some form.

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Kemper said since Mills was recognized in August 2020 as a first-class city, they have been looking to have a more easily accessible health care facility, as few citizens of the city get treatment with the Health Department.

Kemper said an estimate by the health department showed that only 5% of the people they see come from Mills.

Anna Kinder, executive director for the CNCHD, said the new clinic will start offering appointments by the beginning of April, and while they might start off slow, they plan to offer more hours as the clinic expands.

The new facility would provide a variety of services including flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, pregnancy tests, birth control, and other services.

Due to how the state allocates funding to the health department, the new clinic will not provide any abortion services.

The CNCHD is using $29,000 in grant funding to purchase the equipment needed to complete the new clinic, including exam tables, microscopes, office supplies, phones, computers, and blood pressure cuffs.

Kemper said while there may be some issues with advertising the new facility, they are confident the city will be able to get the word out to its citizens.

Kinder said they are working with a marketing firm and the city of Mills to get the word out about the new clinic.

"We are working with Talon Marketing to really spend some creativity and effort to provide the education to let citizens of Mills know," Kinder said. "We are also working with the city of Mills. They'll put it in their social media and newsletter to try and let everyone know what kind of services and when they'll be available."

Kinder said there may be issues with getting enough staffing for the new clinic, as the CNCHD currently has six to eight open positions.

"Finding providers and healthcare staff is probably the biggest challenge," Kinder said. "We're experiencing that at our office as is. Finding people to come to work for us is very difficult so I would assume that would be the same situation there, but it'll take time. That's why we'll pull resources from here to start with, so we won't have just a dedicated staff there yet, but who knows what the future will bring."

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