TWIN FALLS — New medical offices and more healthcare options are on the horizon for south-central Idaho residents in 2018.

Here are three health-related stories to watch this year:

New St. Luke’s buildings

In you live in Buhl or the surrounding area, you’re in luck. A larger St. Luke’s clinic will open in town in mid-to-late 2018, accommodating more patients and expanding services.

The 5,700-square-foot clinic — which will cost $2.4 million — is under construction now on Burley Avenue. It will replace the existing family practice clinic on Broadway Avenue South.

More than eight months ago, the clinic — which only has one doctor — closed to new patients. It can’t accommodate walk-in or existing patients with urgent health needs, and there’s often a month-long wait for an appointment.

Once the new clinic opens, it will include x-ray equipment, lab services and behavior health. The clinic will also add a second provider, meaning it will be easier to get appointments and will allow for walk-ins.

In Twin Falls, St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center is opening a new medical office building next to its outpatient surgery center on the hospital campus.

The 58,000-square-foot, two-story facility — estimated to cost about $27.2 million — is slated to open in February.

If you have an appointment with internal medicine, endocrinology and diabetes management, otolaryngology, rehabilitation services, occupational health or outpatient imaging services, it will likely be in the new building.

There’s also space in the facility for future providers.

No more Gooding hospital district

Gooding residents will likely see a change on their property tax notices this year. They won’t be contributing tax money toward North Canyon Medical Center‘s operations.

It wants to dissolve a taxpayer-supported hospital district and become its own nonprofit. The hospital filed a budget request with Gooding County.

The hospital district has been in existence since 1986. In order to get rid of it, approval is need from voters and Gooding County Commissioners.

New Alzheimer’s Association office

A new Alzheimer’s Association office in Twin Falls will mean more help for local families in 2018 coping with the disease.

The office opened in March at 156 Fourth Ave. S. and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held in September. There’s also a 24/7 hotline available.

If you’re looking for resources or other support to help a loved one who has Alzheimer’s, “we’re available to the public for whatever they need,” business development director Danielle Lyda told the Times-News in October.

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