by Robert Nolte
WORDEN — An extra day has been added to accommodate the patient load at the Worden Clinic.
Thursday is the fourth day in the clinic’s new schedule and will include a doctor on hand to see patients that day. The new schedule began Thursday, Jan. 14.
The clinic will keep its previous schedule of being open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with a physician’s assistant to see patients on those days.
The clinic, operated by RiverStone Health, the former city-county health department, sees about 45 patients a week.
“The clinic’s services have resulted in fewer ambulance calls in the Worden area as people are coming to the clinic and not having to go into Billings for their medical needs so much,” said Dorothy Coslet, a nurse and manager of RiverStone’s satellite clinics.
The Worden clinic also has on hand urgent care medications, mostly antibiotics, to treat less serious illnesses such as colds and mild cases of the flu.
The addition of a doctor to see patients once a week came about because of federal stimulus money that allowed RiverStone to hire an additional physician, case worker and nurse practitioner. Previously, a doctor was only able to work in Worden twice a month and not on a consistent basis.
Dental services are offered each Tuesday at the clinic, when the clinic is not open for medical appointments. Based on demand, dental services may also be expanded, said Coslet, who also oversees similar clinics in Joliet and Bridger.