Prior to the late 1960’s, the only healthcare available in Escalante, UT was provided by nurses who talked on the phone to a doctor at the hospital, if it was necessary folks would have to drive to that hospital in Panguitch, 70 miles away.
The namesake of Kazan Memorial Clinic, Dr. Ivan Kazan, started to fly into Escalante weekly and see patients around 1967. Since he was a pilot, patients were sometimes flown to Page, AZ for hospitalization. In the late seventies the EMS system was also in its beginnings, prior to that emergencies were privately driven by town citizens for the 70 mile trip. Some years later, doctors began traveling weekly from Garfield Memorial Hospital through a partnership with IHC, to see patients in the clinic that Dr. Kazan developed prior to his death. If patients needed a prescription they had to drive to Panguitch, or 70 miles in the other direction to Bicknell, UT; this amount of travel was also required if people needed dental services or X-rays—up until this year.
All along the way, the caring people of Escalante made do with what they had and supported each other during crisis. When there was a fire in the clinic 10 years ago, the staff mad a MASH –type unit in the current city offices while the facility was being built.
Presently, grants have introduced services, discounts, resources and facilities that the citizens in this rural area have not had before. Thanks to these funding sources, the citizens of Escalante and the neighboring smaller towns have an opportunity to get their healthcare services without all of the costs, time, and travel that it used to take.
Dental services, pharmaceuticals and X-ray machines are a few things that have barely been added this year. One citizen, a diabetic, is now able to get their prescriptions and supplies in his hometown and at a much lower cost due to his income; the 340B drug program has made it possible for people to afford the care that will improve their health and their lives. This financial relief for low income families stems from the discount program, as well as, the savings from not having to travel. This demographic consists of many people who are left without health insurance options because Utah did not expand their Medicaid program during the enacting of the ACA, so the discounted services provided by the clinic are filling in that gap and increasing their quality of life. Citizens and tourists alike, will benefit from the new expanded access that includes X-ray capabilities for the first time in the area.
Employment has even increased thanks to grants and the funding of these new services. A few new positions have been created and opportunities for people to increase their income has occurred; for instance, the pharmacy technician is now able to quit her seasonal, low-paying job to received benefits and year-round employment through Kazan Memorial Clinic.
WCHC Hanksville Clinic
30 South HWY 95
Hanksville, Utah 84734
65 N Center Street
Escalante, Utah 84726
Kazan Memorial Clinic
570 East Moqui Lane
Escalante, Utah 84726
Copyright © 2015
Wayne Community Health Centers, and Kazan Memorial Clinic
All rights reserved
WCHC Bicknell Clinic
128 South 300 West
Bicknell, Utah 84715