KDMC family care centers to open Monday

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 2, 2003

Although Lawrence Countians still do not have a hospital to call their own,

residents will have the next best thing beginning Monday.

After making the official announcement two weeks ago, everything is in place for the grand-opening of King's Daughters Medical Center's new family care centers in Coal Grove and Kitts Hill and the relocation of the Ironton clinic.

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"We have been looking to expand in Lawrence County for a long time," Don Fraley, director of outreach services for KDMC, said. "We think there is a real need to have more family practice clinics for those people who do not have a family doctor."

The centers will provide the same care as a family physician but will be staffed with KDMC personnel, he said. Not equipped for emergency care, the centers will be able to provide urgent care and arrange for transportation to the hospital.

"The clinics provide a great resource because we will have all the resources of a hospital behind us," Fraley said. "It is all right there at our call. Anything a patient needs can be covered by us in the visit or they can be referred to the hospital."

Both new centers and the existing center in Burlington will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Ironton center will be open 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Fraley said. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.

The Coal Grove Family Care Center, 205 Marion Pike, will be staffed by Dr. Babatunde Sokan. For an appointment, call (740) 532-5396 or toll free at (877) 557-1565.


Family Care Center in Aid/Kitts Hill is located at 13804 State Route 141. It is staffed by nurse practitioner Mary Beth Blankenship and Dr. Tony Virgin.

Appointments can be made by calling (740) 643-0234 or (877) 559-1214.

The Ironton Family Care Center will relocate to 419 Vernon St. to provide a larger facility. It is staffed by Dr. Denise Priddy and Dr. Virgin.

Appointments can be made by calling (740) 534-0021 or (888) 246-0340.

Because KDMC bought the 6,000-plus patient list from Tri-State Physicians Network, the Ironton and Coal Grove offices are offering one free office visit to former TSPN patients until June 28, said Tom Dearing, spokesman for KDMC.

Also, the clinics will now be able to accept United Health Care and Medical Mutual Insurance after receiving many requests, he said.

The two new clinics will host an open house Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m in Aid and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Coal Grove. Free screenings will be offered for cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and blood oxygen. River City Safe Kids will also be there to talk about car seat safety.

"The purpose is to introduce the community to the centers, the services and the doctors," Regina Stout, manager of community services for KDMC, said. "It is real exciting for us and is our goal to provide these services to the community."

Coal Grove Mayor Tom McKnight is excited about the clinic opening in the village.

"To Ironton, to Ashland, or to Huntington this may not be such a big deal," To us it is a big deal. This is what we survive on."