CHUBBUCK, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – A new state-of-the-art medical campus is coming to Chubbuck. Partners of the project and the city of Chubbuck held a press conference on Friday to formally announce the project was happening and to answer questions about it.
“I see this event today as a hallmark for this city being what it wants to be,” said Chubbuck Mayor Kevin England as he welcomed everyone to the announcement.
The new medical campus is made possible by Dr. Fahim Rahim and his various physician partners, as well as Bingham Healthcare.
Rahim said his reasoning for doing projects like this really came to fruition after he was recently a patient himself.
Recently diagnosed with abdominal cancer, Rahim said he got to see health care from a patient’s perspective, not just a physician. He realized how much of a need there was for some things to change in health care.
He wanted the community to have a choice when it came to health care – not be forced to one doctor or one place.
“Let’s say you need to open a bank account, you have ten different options,” Rahim said. “And if you don’t like service from one provider, you can always switch and that’s what keeps them on their toes and helps scale the quality. And I think that’s exactly what healthcare needs.”
The new campus in Chubbuck will have more than 35 doctors working there when it’s completed. Doctors, specialists, lab work, and several other services all under one roof.
“That way people are not going all over town trying to get what care they need,” Rahim added.
When asked if this new center would conflict at all with other local health centers, specifically Portneuf Medical Center, Rahim said that’s not their intent.
The goal is to create what he calls friendly competition. Because, Rahim says, friendly competition is what drives up the quality of health care but helps drive down prices, and that’s what the community needs.
Austin Anderson has a family and a very health one with no prior health conditions. He said their insurance premiums jumped from $800 to $1800 at last check when trying to find insurance. And that was only one option he had, until now. Anderson said something like this, offering a choice for health, is vital to families like his.
“As a father of three children, and being self-employed, not having a choice or at least a second choice or any choice for that matter, can be frustrating,” Anderson said. “So it means a lot to have some kind of second choice available.”
England said this has been in the works for a long time and he’s excited to see it finally come to fruition.
“I’m like a kid in a candy store, it’s so exciting,” England remarked.
He said he believes this can truly help fill a big need in the community.
“This is a community that truly has been underserved this way,” England said. “I’ve had a lot of people come and talk to me about their concerns about their healthcare and what opportunities they have in this area. Many of them have talked about the fact that in order to get the care they needed they had to leave our community. It is so exciting to recognize that within a very short time, we’re going to have a facility that will rival any other facility for that kind of care.”
England said the new medical campus not only offers health care options for the community but also allows growth for the city of Chubbuck.
“Growth is not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’ and so we want to be ready for it and this is one way to help do that,” England said.
England said it will help bring in more jobs and other economic opportunities for both Pocatello and Chubbuck and he looks forward to its completion.
“People like the Rahims and their partners taking on things like this and providing more of an option is honestly what’s going to keep people like me and – others who’ve been here – in the community,” Anderson said.
KIFI/KIDK was told a possible location for the campus is Knudsen Boulevard. England said that is one of four possible locations that was given to Rahim and his partners for site selection, but that they were still crossing t’s and dotting i’s and had not made a final determination on location.
When asked about location, Rahim said it will be “in the heart of Chubbuck.”
The goal is to break ground for construction this coming spring, and to have the campus up and running in 2019.