HELENA — On Thursday morning, Benefis Health System held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new specialty clinic in Helena. It’s just the latest big step in redeveloping the former Capital Hill Mall site.
The three-story clinic, expected to open next year, will offer primary and specialty care. Dr. Greg Tierney, Benefis’ chief medical officer and executive vice president, says services will include cancer care, cardiology, gastroenterology and a four-room outpatient surgical center.
“We’ve had a longstanding relationship with both the providers of this area, as well as the patients who’ve come to us for primarily specialty care – things that they couldn’t get in this community,” he said. “We saw the opportunity to kind of flip the model, and instead of having them drive up to see us, we found an opportunity to bring those types of services here.”
Tierney says the new clinic will likely have eight to ten physicians and advanced practice clinicians living and working in Helena. Specialists will come to the clinic from Great Falls, and local providers will also have opportunities to gain credentialing and use the facility.
Benefis has recently expanded its operations into Helena. It opened an urgent care clinic on Helena’s northeast side, and it purchased the Helena Imaging radiology centers.
Tierney says the mall site made sense for Benefis, because of its central location, the ease of access and the views their patients will have.
“It just offered us the space and the opportunity to build the structure in the way that we felt it would best provide care to our patients and give them the type of experience that we want to bring,” he said.
Tierney says, while Benefis is experiencing the same issues with construction supply and delays as other organizations, they’re still expecting to open the clinic by the end of 2023.
Benefis will use more than three acres on the east end of the 13-acre mall site. It’s one of the largest projects set for the property, which D&M Development is redeveloping into the “Capital Hill Town Center.”
The rest of the site is continuing to fill up. Starbucks and Taco Bell are up and running on the west side of the property, and a new First Interstate Bank branch is under construction nearby.
D&M Development told MTN last summer that they expect other mixed-use buildings in the area, with commercial space, offices and condominiums or apartments.