Alluvion withdraws from consideration of contracting for county health services

Alluvion Health announced this morning that it is withdrawing from consideration for a contract with Cascade County for certain health department services.

This spring, Alluvion approached the county about contracting for some health department services and in late May, the county announced they were exploring options to outsource some functions to Alluvion, including prevention, family health and some administrative duties.

County votes to move forward with negotiations to outsource health department functions to Alluvion

In early June, County Commissioners voted 3-0 during a special meeting to direct county staff to begin negotiating a contract with Alluvion to provide some functions of the City-County Health Department.

On July 24, Alluvion sent a press release saying they were withdrawing from that negotiation to focus on two other major projects: renovation of the Rocky Mountain Building at the corner of Central Avenue and 6th Street, and a new partnership to increase access for the rural community.

Alluvion anticipates making announcement in the next few weeks about the partnership, according to the release.

“These projects are key steps forward in our strategic plan to grow and support primary care services in our community,” Trista Besich, Alluvion’s chief executive officer said in a release. “We have undergone a tremendous amount of growth in the last year and know that our two most valuable resources are staff and time. We want to make sure we can support the investment of both of those resources to any project we take on to ensure the best chance at success.”

Alluvion finalized the purchase of the Rocky Mountain Building in February and is planning for the first phase of construction.

Art covered plywood has been installed in the windows to provide a facelift of the historic building and showcase local students and artists work in advance of full construction, according to the release.

The building has been vacant since a 2009 fire.

Tanya Houston, Alluvion’s director of communication and workforce development, said they are “negotiating with a consulting firm to assist in helping Alluvion navigate the complexity of the financing package, historic tax credits, etc. This should position the organization to open bids for phase 1 (roof/windows) in late fall.”

Nelson Architects is under contract for design of the facility and preparing bid documents for construction, Houston told The Electric.

They are anticipating summer or early fall of 2020 to open bids for full construction, Houston told The Electric.

Alluvion was previously the Community Health Care Center and a part of the county.

County considering outsourcing public health functions to Alluvion

Last year, the agency began splitting from the county and since Jan. 1, has operated as an independent agency.

Alluvion hosting open house at downtown site; continuing plans for Rocky Mountain Building

It remains a federal qualified healthcare center.

Alluvion took with it many county employees, including Tanya Houston, who was the health officer at CCHD.

County, Alluvion partnering for health officer services temporarily

In February, the commission approved a contract with Alluvion for interim health office services. Essentially, Houston will continue the duties of the county health officer for the time being.

The contract approved by commissioners runs March 1 through Aug. 31, but could be extended and pays Alluvion $3,500 monthly.

Houston told The Electric on July 24 that at this time, Alluvion is not planning to pursue and extension of the contract.

Alluvion also took over administrative duties for CCHD, including prevention services, emergency preparedness, communications, family health services, environmental health and accounting under the agreement.