New medical center in Dover-Foxcroft will bring specialty services to rural area

DOVER-FOXCROFT — Katahdin Valley Health Center is planning to build a new health care facility in Dover-Foxcroft that will expand medical services for low-income and uninsured residents.

Construction of the 25,000-square-foot facility on Summer Street is expected to start in May, as long as permitting is on track, according to a notice posted online earlier this month. The project will likely be completed in February 2023.

Katahdin Valley Health Center has eight clinics throughout Maine that serve rural areas where people have limited access to primary care and specialty services. The new facility would offer primary care, physical therapy, optometry, pediatrics, dental care, therapeutic massage, chiropractic care and acupuncture, behavioral health, podiatry, walk-in care, a pharmacy and speech-language pathology and therapy. The new clinic means that residents who may be low income, lack insurance or have unreliable transportation will have better access to a broader variety of health care in their own county without having to travel to places such as Bangor.

“Any new health care services offered in this area — and less need for residents to have to travel for services — will [ease the] burden to those who have limited transportation options,” Dover-Foxcroft Town Manager Jack Clukey said, adding the facility will help with medical services the area lacks.

Bangor Daily News file photo
In this file photo from April 2021, Certified Dental Assistant Renee Stanley, left, and Jennifer Kusner, a dental student doing an externship from Tufts University, tend to patient Sonya Andrick at the Katahdin Valley Health Center in Millinocket.

In September, Dover-Foxcroft’s Planning Board approved the project, which is supposed to bring 30 new jobs to the area, according to meeting minutes.

“It might be difficult in the short term to quickly fill new positions in the current labor market,” he said, especially because there are many area employers in the health care sector competing for workers.

Forms and signatures from the local fire department, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine Department of Transportation are needed before permits can be issued and approved, according to planning board minutes.

Permits have not yet been issued, said Dani Dow, who works in code enforcement and as a planning administrator at the Dover-Foxcroft Town Office. 

Interviews for contractor and construction services will take place Feb. 4, and selections will be made the week of Feb. 7, the notice said. 

Claudette Humphrey, Katahdin Valley Health Center chief operating officer, was not immediately available for comment Wednesday. 

Katahdin Valley Health Center is a federally qualified health center, meaning it provides care for medically underserved areas with few health care providers and many low-income or uninsured people. 

Katahdin Valley Health Center has clinics in Ashland, Brownville, Houlton, Island Falls, Lincoln, Millinocket and two facilities in Patten, according to its website.

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