to Your Home for Health Care on the North Shore of Lake Superior
Our StoryThe Sawtooth Mountain Clinic, Inc. (SMC) is a 501c3 non-profit organization that grew out of the private practice of Dr. Roger MacDonald. Dr. MacDonald started practice in Cook County in 1962 and served this community for 17 years (13 years as a sole practitioner). Then, after an unsuccessful attempt to work with Group Health of Northeastern MN, the group practice of Drs. Roger MacDonald, David Hilfiker, Bill Gallea and Barbara Banks secured the first grant for federal assistance in June 1979 and the Cook County Community Clinic (later renamed the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic) was established as a federally qualified Community Health Center (CHC). Additionally, Sawtooth Mountain Clinic is a FTCA (Federal Tort Claims Act) deemed health care facility.
Our designation as a federally qualified CHC has been a gift to this community. It allows us to fulfill our mission to provide access to high quality, comprehensive, primary and preventative healthcare in Cook County to all users, regardless of financial ability to pay for service. We are able to offer financial help for qualified individuals through a Sliding Fee Scale program that helps pay the cost of care at our Clinic. In addition, we are able to help our patients with the cost of many other community services such as medicines at the local pharmacy, visits to the local dentist, and lab and/or X-ray services at the hospital, as well as chiropractic care and mental health services. We are able to keep our doors open and maintain this mission because of our support from the federal government.
Over the years, we have had 21 doctors and one nurse practitioner serving this practice. Many have come to put in a couple of years and spent a lifetime. We have been very fortunate to have maintained a practice of LOCAL doctors who have remained members of this community.