Pediatric Partners acquires room to continue expansion

Pediatric Partners of the Southwest has bought land on East Eighth Avenue to expand its practice once again.

The Horse Gulch Health Campus is scheduled to open at the former Building Specialties Store in late fall 2013, Dr. Cecile Fraley, the Pediatric Partners physician administrator, said Tuesday.

“We’ve already expanded twice,” Fraley said. “We keep outgrowing our space so we hope this move is it.”

The seven Pediatric Partners bought the 1.5-acre Building Specialties site from the estate of Steve Obsorne, who was killed Dec. 3, 2011, when the small plane he was piloting crashed near Silverton.

In developing the Horse Gulch Health Campus, the partners will remodel an existing 7,000-square-foot building and construct 20,000 square feet of medical offices.

The anchor tenants in the new building will be Pediatric Partners and Mercy Family Medicine, the former Durango Family Medicine, which was bought recently by Mercy Regional Medical Center.

“We’ve added a primary-care physician since then, and we plan to add more,” Mercy spokesman David Bruzzese said. “Demand for primary care is growing, and we intend to satisfy the demand.”

Mercy Family Medicine will occupy 10,000 square feet and Pediatric Partners 8,000 square feet.

“There will be other tenants,” Fraley said. “But we’re only in the discussion stage with them.”

Pediatric Partners was formed in 2005 by Valley-Wide Health Systems doctors when the practice left the area.

The partnership opened its doors on Rivergate Lane. It expanded there and then created a satellite at the health-services clinic on East Third Avenue near Durango Public Library.

Patient visits today exceed 24,000, half of them self-pay, CHP+ or Medicaid. Physicians also see patients with private insurance and do pro bono work, Fraley said.

“The in-town location will accommodate our growing practice and six-day-a-week service schedule,” Fraley said. “The site will be convenient, providing ample parking, a trolley stop and easy access for pedestrians and bike traffic.”

Mercy Chief Quality Officer Will McConnell said the East Eighth Avenue site will create space for a bigger medical staff and improve access to care.

“We’re proud to be part of the Horse Gulch Health Campus,” McConnell said. “It will be great for the community.”

Pediatric Partners received a Colorado Rural Health Care grant in 2009 to cover the cost of expansion. A similar grant this year will be used to improve services for children with asthma and Type 1 diabetes.

daler@durangoherald.com