Moab Happenings Archive
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From Clinic to Campus — So Far, So Beautiful

Doug Caylor, Executive Director and Dr. Steven Rouzer, Medical Director. Photo by Jon Kovash

Doug Caylor, executive director of the Moab Free Health Clinic is passionate about the mission.

Upon witnessing the metamorphosis of the clinic into a full-scale community project, one knows there had to be a vision. Caylor, a registered nurse and veteran of the Moab hospital’s ER, was recruited to head up the clinic several years ago. After two attempts to hire him away from his teaching job, he agreed to take it on.

The vision, as articulated by Caylor, goes kind of like this: “There’s a hierarchy developed in medicine. We don’t do that here. We work with the patients. It’s a different mode of health care delivery — and I love it.”

It’s one thing to have a vision and another to make it real. In 2018, the Clinic, operating in a relatively small interior space, started to expand services, focusing on preventive care and adding specialties, such as retinal evaluations, counseling, internal medicine, and women’s health. Then they envisioned adding dentistry to the mix and started running out of space. “Next thing you know,” Caylor says wryly, “I no longer have an office. Omigosh, we need to expand.”

They tried to build up to a second story. It was a big-time project and still shy of what was needed.

Here’s what happened: Caylor’s wife just happened to work in the school district and while touring the new Utah State University campus on Aggie Boulevard, just happened to query the campus dean as to what they were planning to do with the buildings at the old location, a sizeable chunk of Moab real estate notably situated just past the state liquor store, and conveniently located in other ways as well.

“Sell it,” the dean replied.

It was pricey. But it offered ten times the square footage of what they had.

Executive Director Doug Caylor and dental hygienist Angie Settle. Photo by Jon Kovash 

Carol Ann Caylor then contacted the free clinic’s Board President, realtor Danette Johnson, who had been involved with the clinic since its inception in ’08. Throwing caution to the wind, Johnson immediately phoned up Caylor and “ideas started flying.” Ultimately, the question was asked: Who can we partner with if we house the clinic over there?

They reached out to the Southeast Utah Health Department to join forces (the health department will occupy half of the main building) and contacted a score of other community-oriented organizations and nonprofits, intending to house them in a second building across the way. Termed The Moab Community Resource Center, it has its own manager, newcomer Crystell Jones, and reaches into just about every aspect of the community, including counseling services, education and library adjuncts, foster care, and an intertribal center, among others.

As Development Director Kate Jagla put it while taking me on a tour of the new digs, “It’s been go, go, go for a year.…”
It’s the morning after the Super Bowl and I’m chatting with Doug Caylor in the room in the back that ties it all together. A connecting point between the Clinic and the Health Department, it is light and airy and offers comfortable seating, the better to view a nice sized tv, upon which Caylor and other staffers watched the football game.

The buildings’ exteriors look much the same. However, the insides have been gutted. Artwork hangs on the walls. The contractors have made some rather artistic choices, so the place is touched with the brush of care.

Outdoor space includes a bee garden and promises all kinds of possibilities, including an art wall, a picnic area, an envisioned playground, childcare center, open-air market...

The Grand Opening/Open House, already once postponed, is slated for Saturday, March 4 from noon till 4 p.m. Caylor promises the opening will not be further played forward no matter what. I recommend everyone show up, visitors and residents alike. You’ve got a treat in store.

Turn onto 200 South, go past the Gonzo Inn. The campus will be on your left.

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