The Memorial Health Care System’s latest expansion idea has come to fruition with the official opening of a new Cleveland clinic.
The Chattanooga-based company that runs two hospitals and a variety of specialty practices held an open house Saturday at Memorial Convenient Care.
While Memorial already had a cardiac care practice in town, the opening marked its foray into running a walk-in clinic in Cleveland.
Visitors poured into the office to tour the facility, enjoy refreshments and take advantage of things like free blood pressure screenings.
Practice manager Christine Orsburne said the new clinic, for now, works like a typical walk-in clinic. No appointments are necessary, and insurance is accepted.
While the clinic is not meant to take the place of a person’s primary care doctor, she hinted the new clinic could grow to add doctors who could play primary care roles.
“We’re going to move to that in the very near future,” Orsburne said.
Currently, the clinic is staffed by four nurse practitioners who are overseen by a medical doctor.
Orsburne said the number of people who can see patients will help make visits quick and “convenient,” like the name implies.
The new clinic is located in the shopping center next to the Publix supermarket at 645 Paul Huff Parkway N.W.
Lisa McCluskey, vice president of marketing and communications, said the location was chosen because it was seen as a “growing area.”
Publix had just opened when the health care company was looking for a place to expand, and other new businesses and housing had also been added to the area within the months prior.
The company also saw a demand, because the number of Cleveland residents who have been traveling to Chattanooga to visit Memorial’s hospitals and clinics.
“Memorial has had a number of patients who drive from Cleveland for care,” said McCluskey. “It made sense to have someplace here they could go.”
One Cleveland resident who visited the open house, Mary Dyre, said she was “very excited” to learn about Memorial’s expansion.
She said she had visited Memorial Hospital in the past for surgery, and she liked the idea of being able to go to a place she believed could provide service that “impressed” her like the hospital’s did.
For about nine months, Memorial staff members have been preparing the new clinic location, which boasts several treatment rooms, including one dedicated to performing x-rays.
Orsburne said the clinic is designed to help people with a wide range of health care needs, whether they have a sore throat and runny nose or a cut that might require stitches but not a trip to the emergency room.
Since it is part of the company’s chain of facilities, McCluskey said patients who need to be referred to specialists for more serious concerns “have access to a vast network” of them.
Factors like the busy location paired with the partnerships they are able to leverage have so far made those making sure the new clinic gets up and running optimistic.
“It’s backed by Memorial quality,” McCluskey said. “The standard of care here is very high.”
Memorial Convenient Care is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.