This Sunday, May 17, marks one full year since a group of Pahrump health care providers gathered under a new umbrella called Spring Mountain Medical Group, with a vision of providing “health care as you’ve always imagined it.” Back then no one could have imagined the way COVID-19 would change the daily practice of medicine, but with nearly a hundred years’ combined experience between them, these doctors “are very creative and know how to adapt to get results in differing environments,” said SMMG Practice Manager Levi Rogers.
Even with a pandemic in full swing, Rogers said, the providers at SMMG have been able to maintain a “focus on health and well being, on living pain free.” Helping people to feel their best is “even more important now.”
In response to the pandemic best practice guidelines released by the Center for Disease Control, the doctors and staff have changed the way they do things logistically, Rogers said, but the ideal that brought them together remains the same. “We have a focus here on patient experience. Our doctors work to stay on schedule because we believe your time is as valuable as ours.”
Spring Mountain Medical includes several familiar Pahrump faces, such as Dr. Mike Taylor of Affiliated Chiropractic, who’s been in Pahrump since 2006; Dr. Robert Hayes, formerly of HealthCare Partners; Dr. Daniel Griffith, and Dr. Matt Roberson, who is the medical director of this fully integrated clinic. “These are people who live in Pahrump,” Rogers said. “They work here, they live here, you’ll see us out in the community.”
The doctors are also involved in many community projects. Dr. Mike Taylor coaches a high school basketball team and SMMG supports the annual Tribe toy run, and has sponsored the local chili cook-off and NyE Communities Coalition Hope Run/Walk. SMMG provides the athletic trainer for local school sporting events, Rogers said, and “we also offer the school sports physicals for $20 cash and donate 100% back to the school of the student.”
The Spring Mountain Medical facility houses family practice, chiropractic and physical therapy and rehab services under the same roof. The primary care side offers physicals, minor surgeries, treatment for acute and chronic conditions, allergies, anxiety, depression and much more. The physical medicine side offers rehabilitative care, including stretching and strengthening, bracing and wrapping, hydro tables, foam rolling and other therapies, and chiropractic care to treat headaches, sciatica, joint and muscle pain. Hands-on massage is not currently available, but the facility offers massage chairs.
Prior to the pandemic declaration, patients were seen on both sides of the facility five days a week. Now, said Rogers, the physical medicine side is still open and scheduling regular appointments for therapies but patients will not find the office as bustling and busy as it used to be. Appointments are staggered much farther apart on the clock and patients are stationed much farther apart on the equipment. Meanwhile, staff are continually sanitizing the contact surfaces, Rogers said, and always wearing masks.
The family practice side has shifted its focus to telephone appointments. Their doctors are not using complicated apps that might deter people from seeking help, Rogers said, but a “simple telephone conversation.” Nine times out of ten, Rogers said, they’re able to address the problem that way. When a patient needs to be seen, this ensures there will be very few people in the building.
Patients have responded positively to this new way of doing things, Rogers said. “They are glad to have access to care without leaving their homes.”
Another important change is the now daily screening of employees as well as visiting patients for early signs or symptoms of COVID-19, including temperature scans. The facility does not do actual antibody testing, Rogers said. If they encounter a patient who meets the criteria for testing, they will send the patient to Desert View Hospital.
As its first year comes to a close, despite the challenges, SMMG is thriving, Rogers said. Pulling together already successful and familiar community resources under one roof allowed has allowed them all to maximize their potential. Online reviewers tend to agree with the assessment, giving SMMG a 4.5 star average rating on Google.
Even in the current conditions, Rogers said, SMMG usually offers same or next day appointments. New patients can typically be seen in 24 to 48 hours. To schedule an appointment, call the office at 775-727-8900, or visit their website at springmtnmed.com. The office is located at 1151 S. Highway 160 in Pahrump. Current office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday from 9-4, closed Thursday, and Friday 9-4.
Robin Flinchum is a freelance writer and editor and lives in Tecopa, California