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Mon, Jan. 25

Guest column: North Country Healthcare brings unique services to Grand Canyon community

Since 2005, the Grand Canyon clinic has been managed and operated by North Country HealthCare, the only publicly supported community health center in the area. In collaboration with the National Park Service, North Country HealthCare is committed to providing quality healthcare to the community.

In the past year, Cindy Christman has taken on the responsibility of managing the Grand Canyon facility. Cindy is also the manager of North Country HealthCare in Ash Fork, Seligman and Williams. She has worked at Williams Health Care Center for over 30 years. Before North Country HealthCare assumed management of the Grand Canyon clinic, Cindy managed the facility for Banner Health in the mid 1990s.

North Country HealthCare has also hired a new medical provider, Dr. Kristen Burkholder, MD. She moved to Grand Canyon from the Hopi Reservation (Indian Health Services) and comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience. North Country HealthCare also employs Mary Gdula, FNP. She has worked at the Grand Canyon clinic for nearly 10 years and is committed to serving residents and visitors alike.

One of the most exciting and unique services that North Country HealthCare brings to the Canyon is Physical Therapy. Tom Martin, PT and Julie Stone, PT are Grand Canyon's own on-site physical therapists. They work closely with medical providers to design individualized treatment plans that maximize physical function and decrease pain. Treatments are individualized to a patient's needs, but usually include manual therapy and exercise rehabilitation. Some of the injuries treated include: sprains/strains, fractures, joint dysfunctions, low back pain, ligament tears, stroke and head injuries, dizziness and cardiac care, along with post-operative care for a wide range of surgeries.

North Country HealthCare has also extended pharmacy services to the Canyon. Grand Canyon's newest medical service had been operating for just over one year. On-site pharmacy services include: prescription processing, dispensing, competitive prices and consultation with pharmacists.

The Grand Canyon pharmacy operates in a very unique way. Rather than having a pharmacist on-site, a pharmacy technician fills all prescriptions and communicates with pharmacists in Flagstaff via video conference, also known as telemedicine. When prescriptions are picked up, patients have the opportunity to receive consultations, education and counseling with a pharmacist in Flagstaff through telemedicine. This method allows North Country HealthCare to provide pharmacy services to rural communities. A similar pharmacy can be found at North Country HealthCare in Kingman.

You do not need to be a patient of North Country HealthCare to utilize the pharmacy at Grand Canyon. Some of the most common over the counter medications are also available, such as cold, flu, etc.

North Country HealthCare offers a variety of medical services including primary care and urgent care. In addition to medical services, North Country HealthCare is home to several community outreach programs including: a breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening program; maternal and child health programs; a diabetes education and self management program; HIV/AIDS management, treatment and support programs; a radiation exposure screening and education program and a sexual assault program.

North Country HealthCare accepts a variety of payment methods. Commercial insurance, Medicare and Arizona's Medicaid program, AHCCCS are accepted. If you are uninsured, you may qualify for the sliding fee scale based on your income and family size. Co-pays on the sliding fee scale range from $25-$50. For more information about North Country HealthCare please contact the Grand Canyon facility at (928) 638-2551.

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