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New Healthcare Clinic Opens in Springfield

Michele Skalicky

A new Mercy GoHealth Urgent Care Clinic is now open in Springfield.  This one is on the east side:  At 3233 E. Sunshine.  It’s the third in the city.

Mercy officials cut the ribbon on the new clinic Thursday and welcomed patients the day after.

Mercy wants to get patients in the right place for care, and the urgent care clinics help meet the need for those with non-life threatening illness or injury, according to Dr. Robert Cavagnol, clinic president at Mercy.  Keeping people out of the ER who don’t need to be there, he said, is better for everyone.

"It's better for the health system because...it's a high cost area, and that slows down the through put of the patients who need that emergency treatment," said Cavagnol.  "Oftentimes patients have a higher charge in the emergency department as they would in a doctor's office or urgent care and then, you know, obviously, utilization of those resources where there's a lot of intense resources, it just consumes those resources when you don't need that."

Patients six months and older should go to urgent care clinics for things like flu, colds and sore throats; nausea, vomiting and diarrhea; minor cuts and burns; sprains, strains and fractures; and asthma and allergies.

An emergency room visit is in order for patients younger than six months or anyone with poisonings; head injuries; severe burns; severe, uncontrolled pain; chest pains; difficulty breathing; and pregnancy complications.

According to Cavagnol, the two other Mercy GoHealth Clinics—at 900 E. Battlefield and at 2150 W. Republic Rd.—see a total of 150 patients a day.  They’re open 8 to 8 Monday thru Friday and 9 to 6 on the weekends.

Credit Michele Skalicky
Mercy and GoHealth Officials Cut the Ribbon for the New Mercy GoHealth Clinic

Patients can check in from home online and have the option to get a text message when a health provider is ready to see them, so they don’t have to wait long hours in the waiting area. 

Sherry Buebendorf, GoHealth's market director for the Midwest, said the focus is on the patient.  The goal, according to Buebendorf, is to get patients in and out quickly.  And the clinics are small, she said, so patients and providers have more contact from start to finish.

"It's not just a little name that's on the board of the tracking system, maybe in an emergency department or an office setting.  They actually see you, so I think it develops an increased sense of urgency for our providers and for our staff, too," said Buebendorf.

Cavagnol said they're monitoring volumes at each clinic, and, as each one reaches capacity, they'll look at adding even more Mercy GoHealth Clinics in Springfield.  

Bob Kinard, GoHealth's chief operating officer, said a whole team is involved in site selection for their clinics.  They look at whether or not primary care doctors or specialists are nearby, among other things.

"We really try to look for where people live and work so they don't necessarily drive across town to go to an urgent care," Kinard said.  "We try to be part of the community that folks live, work and play in."

GoHealth works with health systems to provide urgent care.  They're currently in nine states with six different partnerships, said Kinard.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.