By The Chronicle staff
Beginning Friday, Feb. 4, East Lewis County residents will have an additional point of access for health care.
Arbor Health is opening a Rapid Care Clinic inside its Morton Clinic building. Like an urgent care facility, the Rapid Care Clinic will not require appointments. Patients will be seen on a walk-in basis.
The new clinic will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Arbor Health is expecting to increase staffing at the Rapid Care Clinic soon with the goal of expanding hours to include Sundays and Mondays.
The new clinic is designed for people experiencing medical problems who need to be seen within 24 to 48 hours at cheaper rates than emergency rooms.
“If something needs looked at today, right now, that is for the emergency room,” said Chief Medical Officer Kevin McCurry in a news release. “It is the things you want to be seen for, but you can’t get in to see your doctor for a week or two, that’s the Rapid Care Clinic. Situations like stroke, chest pain, acute abdominal pain, unrelenting vomiting and badly broken bones still need to be seen in the emergency room.”
Through this addition, Arbor Health expands its previous offerings of solely hospital service and primary care clinics, allowing patients more choice and easing some of the strain on Arbor Health staff.
In the release, CEO Leianne Everett said opening the Rapid Care Clinic in 2022 has been a goal of the administration for several years. Originally, it was slated to open at the beginning of January. However, staffing challenges postponed the opening.
“Service is greatly needed through all four of the days. In addition to the family medicine clinics being closed on the weekends, there are also fewer primary care providers on Fridays and Mondays,” stated the release.
The addition of the Rapid Care Clinic is in line with Arbor Health’s vision of providing accessible, quality healthcare, as well as its mission of fostering trust and nurturing a healthy community, according to the news release.
“Financial wellness is an important part of a healthy community,” Everett said. “Providing this level of care — which is significantly less expensive to the patient than emergency care — is right in line with where we need to be.”
Arbor Health is looking for medical providers, medical assistants and office staff. Those qualified and interested should contact the Arbor Health Human Resources Department at 360-496-5112. The Arbor Health Rapid Care Clinic is located within the Morton Clinic, at 531 Adams Ave., Morton. The Rapid Care staff can be reached at 360-496-3601.