SISTERSVILLE -Officials at Sistersville General Hospital are preparing to establish an urgent care medical office in St. Marys.
The West Virginia Health Care Authority announced this week it has issued a Certificate of Need to Sistersville General Hospital for the development of an Ambulatory Care Center in St. Marys. A capital expenditure of $10,000 is associated with the proposal, officials said.
"We are really excited to be able to do something in that area," said John May, Sistersville General Hospital CEO. "We envision this project operating like an urgent care center."
After research into the area, May said the St. Marys area was underserved medically with only two primary care physicians available for the community.
"That identified to us they felt they were underserved," he said.
The area did not qualify for a rural health clinic so hospital officials began planning for an urgent care facility to help take care of immediate needs in the community.
"People won't have to travel to Parkersburg, Marietta or Wheeling for their primary care needs," May said.
Plans are to be able to cycle specialists through the clinic at different times, a day or two a month, to provide specific care to those in the community, specialities like women's health.
"This will allow people to be able to get full primary care close to home," May said.
Officials are looking at properties around town for the clinic, but nothing has been finalized.
They plan on staffing the office with a physician/medical director, a physician assistant and a nurse practitioner. Support staff will include medical assistants and registration clerks.
The facility will have two full-time equivalent medical staff positions and three full-time equivalent medical assistants/registration clerks positions.
"We will be phasing in 'specialty' providers as the practice develops," May said. "It is our intention to share staff between the rural health centers in Sistersville and the urgent care in St. Marys.
"The ultimate goal is to expand hours at both locations. This project complies with our mission to 'provide a world of caring, close to home.'"
May is hoping the facility will be open this summer. Plans are for the facility to be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
"I am very excited to get our office open as quickly as possible," May said. "Our Board of Managers must approve our lease documents once we finalize an agreement.
"We have toured a number of locations and will be making a decision shortly. We are looking forward to this being a very successful practice."