(submitted illustration)
(submitted illustration)

STRATTON -- First and foremost, new renovations at the Carlos Otis Clinic will increase the amount of treatment rooms in the facility.

"The clinic was built in 1971 and it certainly seems we're busier and busier every year," said Carlos Otis Clinic Executive Director Seth Boyd. "We desperately needed more treatment space."

The existing not-for-profit clinic sits on at the base of Stratton Mountain next to the gondola, at 78 Founders Way. The $1.5 million project will be funded by donations only and is expected to be completed by the end of October. The work will result in about 2,500 square feet of renovations and the addition of approximately 1,500 square feet of space on two floors.

Construction there had begun at the end of May with the interior demolition. The crew started excavation for the new foundation on June 4.

When finished, specialized trauma rooms, a covered ambulance entrance and an expanded triage area will be added to the facility. The project also includes upgrading cardiac equipment.

The clinic is open seasonally. It is open every day during the winter, providing urgent and primary care. It is also open for special events in the summer. There is currently research being conducted to see whether hours of operation need to be increased.

According to a press release, the clinic is staffed during the ski season with volunteer orthopedic surgeons and medical doctors. They volunteer and in exchange, get to stay in housing that is attached to the clinic. The resort also gives doctors and their families skiing and riding privileges as well as lessons, childcare and rentals.

Volunteers come from places such as Boston's Brigham and Women's and Mass General and the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

"It's a unique program where we get top-notch volunteer physician services and the physician gets a ski vacation with their family," Boyd stated. "Our roster has very little turnover. Our doctors return year after year, creating a family tradition."

Dr. Carlos Otis, who founded Grace Cottage in Townshend, had also founded the Stratton clinic. It originally served only to treat injured skiers.

Boyd told the Reformer the clinic was still seeking funds for the project. The website, carlosotisclinic.org, has more information.

"We're almost at our goal," he said.

Chris Mays can be reached at 802-254-2311, ext. 273, or cmays@reformer.com. Follow Chris on Twitter @CMaysReformer.