Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Thu, October 4 2012 at 5:09 PM, Updated: Thu, October 4 2012 at 5:24 PM
A new children's clinic is dedicated in Klamath Falls...and that clinic may help to cure a chronic shortage of pediatricians in the area.
Two year old Hayden Barrett was a patient at the Sanford Children's Clinic this morning.
"The experience was wonderful." Says Hayden's mother, Grace Barrett. "The facility is beautiful. I'm very pleased with our care."
Sanford World Clinics Vice-President Jim Slack notes that Klamath Falls had been facing a shortage of pediatricians. "So that's what led us to check out the Klamath Falls region, and see if there was anything Sanford could do to help."
Ground was broken on the facility two years ago.
"The project will cost right around 4.5 million dollars." Added Slack.
Officials from nearby Sky Lakes Medical Center hope the new facility will help to recruit new physicians to the area.
"This puts a bright light on the cooperation and excellence of care in the community." Stated Tom Hottman of Sky Lakes. "Recognized by somebody outside of the area."
Sanford officials call their facility a 'Castle of Care'.
The Sanford Children's Clinic operates in a kingdom where the main objective is to provide a gentler approach to medical care for young patients.
The clinic looks more like a theme park than a hospital, and kids are treated more like kids than they are 'little adults'.
"We utilize the parents, or the family members, or the caregivers that are here with the child." Says Megan Harris, a registered nurse who serves as clinical supervisor. "So they are able to hold their child, and comfort their child."
Hayden Barrett and his family are comforted knowing that if he needs more care in the future, it'll now be available.
The Sanford Children's Clinic is located on Daggett Street, two blocks west of Campus Drive.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.