After over a year of planning, fundraising and organization, Three Peaks Medical Clinic opened at Sugarbush’s Lincoln Peak in Warren last Friday, December 16.
The clinic is open on weekends and is staffed by an impressive cadre of volunteer doctors. It is managed by a board of directors and has two staff members, a clinical practice manager and x-ray technician. The board includes executive director Chad Borofsky, president Barb Masser, and Win Smith, Warren.
According to Borofsky, over the course of its opening weekend December 16-18, the clinic treated 19 patients who would have otherwise called the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service, or driven 45 minutes to Central Vermont Medical Center to wait in the emergency room for care.
“Our local EMS is short-staffed and our hospitals are also over-burdened. By treating people here we were able to keep those folks out of the Vermont health care system and lightened the load on local EMS,” Borofsky said.
Injuries treated ranged from a heart-related medical condition to multiple arm and leg fractures, he reported.
The new clinic relies on volunteer doctors and paid staffers Lynne Brophy, clinical practice managerm and Steve Mason, x-ray technician.
The way the clinic is working, Borofsky said is that ski patrollers bring patients to the clinic where the patients decide if they want to be treated there or transported by MRVAS or private car for care elsewhere. There are two volunteer doctors on duty each day, one is generally skiing and the other is in the clinic throughout the day. The volunteer doctors receive a ski pass for their volunteer work.
The clinic does not take insurance. There’s a flat fee set for an x-ray based on the average out-of-pocket cost for an x-ray.
“We do not charge for initial assessment or evaluation and our physicians are some most highly trained emergency room and orthopedic physicians in the region. We do charge $175 for x-rays and other scaled fees for procedures(laceration repair) and splinting materials, etc.,” Borofsky explained.
The clinic is open to the public as well during its regular hours. People renting condos on the mountain who need treatment for non-skiing issues or other visitors and local residents who get injured around their homes are welcome to use the clinic as well as those who may find themselves with other medical issues.
The Three Peaks board and others raised close to $300,000 to get the clinic open. The space used to host a UVM Medical/Orthopedic clinic that closed during COVID. Alterra, Sugarbush’s parent company, is donating the space for Three Peaks Medical Clinic.
The clinic will be open Friday through Sunday throughout the ski season. The clinic will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It will be open throughout the rest of the holiday week. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new clinic is tenatively slated for December 30. Details will be forthcoming.
Three Peaks Medical Clinic is a registered nonprofit. Those interested in helping the clinic continue to operate, grow and evolve still have opportunities to become a founding donor($1,000 donation gets a plaque on the wall as a founding member) or to purchase one of the rooms in the clinic ($20,000).