By Keith Gushard
Meadville Medical Center is adding two new urgent-care medical facilities — Meadville Express Care — starting next year with locations in downtown Meadville and in Vernon Township.
“The emergency room is not the most convenient place for some care,” Dr. Barry Bittman, Meadville Medical Center spokesman, said Thursday. “Waiting an excessive period of time can happen if we have a motor vehicle accident, a stroke or heart attack victim come in. We have to triage patients, taking care of the sickest patients first in an emergency room.”
Both facilities will be physician- and nurse-staffed, walk-in clinic settings with direct communication to Meadville Medical Center if more substantive care is needed, he said.
Meadville Express Care officially begins Saturday in Meadville at the Water Street Urgent Care site, 1009 Water St., when the hospital takes over ownership of the practice.
Meadville Medical Center has purchased the business-only from Northwest Physicians of Meadville for an undisclosed sum, Bittman said.
Though Meadville Medical Center officially takes over ownership of the Water Street practice Saturday, renovations to the building itself have gone on for the past several weeks, Bittman said.
Renovations at the Water Street site are also for a new location of the hospital’s occupational medicine practice which provides medical evaluation, diagnosis and assessment for businesses. It has been at the hospital’s Liberty Street building.
Meadville Express Care will open at 16269 Conneaut Lake Road in Vernon Township at the former Anderson Physical Therapy site by mid-January. That building is undergoing renovations, Bittman said.
Both locations are seven days per week — 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, he said.
Asked if the opening of a MedExpress Urgent Care in Vernon Township in mid-November caused the hospital to develop its own urgent care centers, Bittman said no. MedExpress is a Morgantown, W.Va.,-based non-emergency medical care provider.
“We felt in looking at our future plans this would complement the network for the hospital,” Bittman said. “We felt it was based on the needs of the community.”
Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.