OLBH urgent care center to open next month

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 9, 2003

Many Lawrence County residents have seen the billboards and soon they will be able to see the doctors.

Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital is targeting Nov. 3 as the opening date for its urgent care facility, located in OLBH's Diagnostic Imaging Center in the Ironton Hills Shopping Center at the intersection of U.S. 52 and State Route 93.

A grand opening and ribbon cutting may be scheduled later in November, said Michael Stautberg, vice president of external affairs for OLBH.

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The development of 3,500 square feet of the building for the urgent care center has been completed. In total, the entire facility is now approximately 8,000 square feet, he said.

"The urgent care center helps us fulfill the primary request of the community after the closure of the River Valley facility," he said. "The community requested urgent/emergency care and we are pleased to bring this service to fulfillment based on the requests and needs."

Not equipped for full emergency treatment, urgent care includes treating bone fractures, sprains, athletic injuries, stitches, infections, pneumonia, sore throats and more, he said.

Once the physicians are introduced they will clarify exactly what can or cannot be handled.

Initially, the center will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. It may expand to additional hours if the need presents itself, Stautberg said.

"The utilization of the center will drive the need for additional hours, if needed," he said. "These hours could be to open later or earlier."

The urgent care center will create 15 new full-time positions that include lab technicians, nurses, office staff and administrative positions that have been filled by hiring from the local area.

This brings the total to approximately 35 OLBH employees, he said.

The center will be staffed by two new physicians that are still being recruited, as well as 18 other credited physicians who are former emergency room and urgent care providers, he said.

OLBH and city officials are still finalizing the contract to relocate 50 administrative positions from its Russell, Ky., campus to the Ironton City Center.

"I feel like Bellefonte has made their plans and the first part has come to pass," Mayor Bob Cleary said. "This shows some of the good things that Bellefonte is planning to do.

The 50 jobs coming to the city center is close to happening."