Klamath Falls, Ore. – It’s part clinic, and part classroom – and it’s likely to have a big impact on the future of health care in Klamath County.
A ribbon-cutting was held last week to mark the opening of the Sky Lakes Collaborative Health Center.
The facility is a mix of medical education and treatment.
“It combines the academics of OHSU with the clinical of Sky Lakes.” Explains Sky Lakes Public Information Officer Tom Hottman.
The Sky Lakes Collaborative Health Center is 4 stories tall.
“The top two floors are the Sky Lakes Primary Care Clinic.” Notes Hottman. “It consolidates 5 current stand alone clinics into one location.”
The first floor has the expanded Cascades East Family Medicine Center.
“The ground level will be the Oregon Health and Science University’s classroom / academics floor.” Hottman points out, adding the 50 million dollar project is one of the biggest in the history of Klamath County. “It’s a large investment, and we believe the single largest investment in primary care ever.”
Crews are still putting the finishing touches on the center in preparation for a major transition.
Hottman explains the timeline: “The stand alone clinics will close the afternoon of December 31st, and will be open January 6th in the new location.”
The existing Cascades East building will be used for administrative offices.
Work will begin shortly on a parking lot with over 200 spaces behind Sky Lakes for workers and staff, freeing up more parking for patients.
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.