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From small beginnings in a four-room house, the Wayne County Clinic has expanded to the point that officials are planning a $110,000 addition.

A new 1,400 square foot addition was contracted to the Taylor and Brown construction firm in Loa.Arda Morrell, clinic director, recalled the early days of the facility after it was opened in 1978. Prior to that there were no medical facilities in Wayne County.

"The clinic surpassed all expectations for patient encounters the first day and has continued to increase until expansion was necessary," Morrell said.

She recalls getting donated equipment from the Garfield Memorial Hospital in Panguitch and the Sevier Valley Hospital in Richfield. An old refrigerator, covered with contact paper, was found in which medications could be kept. It is still in use but for soft drinks and other "goodies" available in the clinic's conference room.

Morrell noted that one of the first projects at the clinic was to find physicians who were willing to participate on a part-time basis in the venture, a policy still pretty much in force.

The Wayne County Clinic was established when the University of Utah's department of family and community medicine selected two sites in Utah as pilot projects. Bicknell was selected along with Wendover.

A need was seen for improved medical services in remote, rural areas of the state. A "mid-level" concept for health-care delivery was an important part of the program.

As envisioned, the clinic would not be staffed by full-time physicians but there would be direct contact with doctors in Richfield.

Physician assistants and/or nurses would work at the facility.

A clinic governing board was appointed, representative of one resident of each community. Its members decided to separate from the U. in 1980 and they filed a health grant application to provide services as a community health center.

Two physician assistants, Cory Britton and Kathy Blackburn, now work full time and are on call 24 hours a day.

Doctors who currently spend some of their time at the clinic are Dr. Jeffery Chappell, a native of Wayne County who practices in Richfield; Dr. Lamar Stewart of Gunnison, who retired for a period of time and then decided resume his work and service in the medical field; and Dr. Jeffery Brown of the Intermountain Health Care Family Specialty Clinic in Richfield.

Robert Fillmore serves voluntarily as chairman of the current Wayne County Clinic board of directors. Barbara Ekker is the vice chairman and Pat Kearney is secretary-treasurer. Other members are Regini Flanagan, Kenneth Noyes, Blanch Brinkerhoff, Maridee Hiskey, Tom Cox and Ann Lierd.