Urgent care clinic to open in Marietta in 2019

MARIETTA — A building across Front Street from East Muskingum Park will become home to a new standalone, unaffiliated urgent care clinic early in 2019.

Dr. Jeff Patey, who has lived in Marietta for more than 20 years and is a board certified emergency medicine physician, said Tuesday he had discussed the possibility of setting up a clinic with his family, fellow doctors and patients for about two years and decided to take the leap.

“I’ve lived in Marietta since 1993, and I have seen as the years have gone by that patients in Marietta have pretty limited choices,” he said.

Memorial Health System is the dominant medical health care provider in the city. Urgent care clinics include Quick Care on Acme Street in the shopping plaza that houses the Kroger supermarket, which is headquartered in Parkersburg, and Physician Care Express on Pike Street at the east end of the city, which is affiliated with Memorial.

Patey said the clinic will include several medical personnel, including himself and nurse practitioners.

“We will offer treatments for conditions such as minor and moderate illness you might see your family physician for, such as coughs, colds, urinary tract infections, injuries, lacerations, eye exams, eye injuries,” he said. “We’ll have a lab so we can do testing for influenza, strep, blood counts, urinalysis.”

It will be a walk-in clinic but also will offer some primary care services by appointment, he said.

“A lot of people use the emergency department when what they actually need is primary care,” he said. “Obviously, we’re not trying to get people who have genuine emergencies, such as heart attack, stroke or major trauma.”

Patey said the building at 416 Front St., which previously has housed a veterinary clinic and a skin care parlor, is well-suited for a clinic.

“I like the physical location, but the main thing was that the building layout fits very well with a physician practice,” he said. “It’s got a big waiting area in front, seven rooms suitable for exam rooms and a space that will work for a lab.”

The building will require only minor renovations, such as recently finished interior paint, he said. Equipment is arriving, work is pending to give it ADA-compliant access, and the clinic is on track to open in January.

“My focus is on getting good providers,” he said. “I have four nurse-practitioners, and we are interviewing and hiring now.”

Patey said he owns and operates Quality Care Associates, an emergency medicine staffing company whose clients include emergency departments in Cadiz and Bellaire.

“It’s been a big process, and takes a lot of planning,” he said regarding the clinic. “I’ve lived in Marietta a long time, and everybody I’ve talked to says we need a choice in Marietta.”

The clinic, he said, will be set up to take private medical insurance, cash customers, Medicare and Medicaid.

Urgent care has become a growing model for delivering medical care as patients seek clinicians who can offer quick, convenient service that fits into their schedules. The industry growth rate in terms of revenue has been more than 4 percent per year on average over the past seven years.