For the first time since 2013, residents of South Park will soon have much-needed access to local health care.
And even though Dr. Kevin Hattaway will technically be serving as the primary provider of that health care, he strongly prefers to be thought of, and referred to, simply as “Doctor.”
“I chose to practice medicine in Fairplay in order to return to what motivated me to become a doctor in the first place: to treat people with compassion and respect as their family doctor and not just a healthcare provider,” Dr. Hattaway said.
“I strive to re-establish the time-honored doctor-patient relationship based on mutual respect and a sense of community.”
According to Dr. Hattaway, the very essence of practicing medicine, and receiving medical care, has been diluted and diminished by the ever-growing influence of the medical insurance industry.
“Practicing medicine has changed drastically over the last 25 years, and has unfortunately evolved from being centered around doctor-patient relationships, to patient-insurance or doctor-insurance relationships,” Dr. Hattaway said. “The crux of medicine is the doctor-patient relationship, and should never revolve around profits before patients, as it all too often does these days.”
Dr. Hattaway earned his medical degree from Louisiana State University Medical School and completed a Family Medicine Residency at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. He is board certified in family practice with 25 years of healthcare experience.
Prior to coming to South Park Health Care, Dr. Hattaway practiced in multiple states and in various settings, including private group and solo practices, the Department of Defense/Army and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Dr. Hattaway’s clinic is located at 525 Hathaway Street in downtown Fairplay. The clinic will provide well-child, adult care and women’s health services, chronic disease management and behavioral health services, as well as urgent care for colds, flu and cuts andscrapes.
Specialists such as pulmonologists and cardiologists from Denver’s HealthONEfacilities will routinely visit the clinic. Such visits will help to provide area residents access to high-quality specialty care, all within the friendly confines of South Park.
The new clinic will feature a digital X-ray machine, updated laboratory equipment and a number of cosmetic improvements. According to Adam Mastroianni, market operations manager for HealthONE, the vision is for Dr. Hattaway to be assisted by a staff comprised of a registered nurse, an X-ray technician and a medical front desk specialist.
Providing access to quality healthcare in rural locations statewide is an ongoing challenge, and in this case it required the formation of a unique public-private relationship between South Park Health Service District and HealthONE, a Denver-based health care system.
According to a Health-ONE press release dated Aug. 26, Congressman Doug Lamborn met with representatives from the SPHSD Board, Rocky Mountain Rural Health, and HealthONE Aug. 14 to learn the process and strategy behind delivering healthcare to South Park. During the visit, Congressman Lamborn asked what differentiates a primary care provider in South Park from on along the Front Range.
Katherine Fitting, MD, the chairman of the South Park Health District Board and a retired physician in Fairplay, explained the difference to the Congressman.
“There is greater need for integration into the community,” Dr. Fitting said. “It’s important to be seen as a trusted resource who is also one of us.”
Dr. Fitting should know, as she was the last medical practitioner in Fairplay prior to the long-awaited arrival of Dr. Hattaway. In fact, it is Dr. Fitting’s previous office space on Hathaway Street that has been renovated to house the new facility. Dr. Fitting retired in 2013.
The South Park Health Service District, dedicated to meeting the health care needs of Park County residents and visitors, was elected into existence in November 2017. The purpose of the Health Service District is to assist in funding health services in the South Park region of Park County.
Park County is designated as a Medically Underserved Population and a Health Professional Shortage Area. The South Park Health Services District is committed to securing integrated medical and behavioral health services where consistent access to a medical home is assured.
For more information about South Park Health Care, please visit www.sphsdistrict.org.
Seeds for the new clinic were planted when Alan Qualls, Senior Vice President of Development, HealthONE, happened to see a 9News report describing the lack of healthcare resources for residents of South Park that aired in the spring of 2017.
“I was just watching the news, and they were doing a story about the need for healthcare in the South Park area,” Qualls said. “We traveled up there and met with members of the South Park Health District Board, and through a series of ongoing collaborative efforts, our plans came together.”
As fate would have it, Dr. Hattaway, 50, who was considering yet another offer to practice medicine in another urban setting for another corporate entity, became disenchanted enough to Google the phrase, “Colorado towns needing doctors.”
“I just got somewhat burned out working for the government and decided I wanted to go back to the basics of practicing medicine,” Dr. Hattaway recalled. “Had it not been for this opportunity, I was seriously considering retirement.”
Dr. Hattaway and his staff will be responsible for physically treating patients and fostering relationships with patients, but they will be well-supported when help is required.
“I know that the clinic’s staff will be welcomed, and that they will become an integrated part of the South Park community,” said Stephanie Sullivan, director of media relations and community affairs.
“They will have the benefit of having a wealth of collaborative healthcare partners, and they will have the full support of HealthONE, the largest healthcare system in the Denver Metro area.”
HealthONE employs about 11,000 health care professionals in the Denver metro area. As part of the HealthONE system of care, The Medical Center of Aurora, North Suburban Medical Center, Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Medical Center, Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, Rose Medical Center, Sky Ridge Medical Center, Swedish Medical Center, and Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital work together to provide a higher level of care.
HealthONE’s family of services includes seven hospital free-standing emergency departments and numerous ambulatory surgery centers, CareNow urgent care and occupational medicine clinics, physician practices, imaging centers, and AIRLIFE-DENVER, which provides critical care air and ground transportation across a 10-state region.
More information about HealthONE can be obtained at www.healthonecares.com.