Two local health care providers are combining their offices to serve more patients and provide continuity of care.
Mercy Well Child Pediatrics and South Urbana Family Medicine will become Urbana Family Medicine and Pediatrics on July 5. The combined practice will be at 204 Patrick Ave., which is where Mercy Well Child is located.
South Urbana Family Medicine is served by Dr. Jeffery Bowers on South U.S. Route 68. His practice has been growing, adding nurse practitioners Amanda Myers and Laura Willis recently.
Bowers and the nurse practitioners serve all ages, and Bowers specializes in geriatric medicine. Bowers said his practice grew almost immediately after opening its doors.
“Right now we are tripping over each other,” he said.
The move will be beneficial for patients in that it will allow for continued care as patients age, Bowers said.
“This will help us do a better job of providing family medicine across a full range of ages,” he said. “Families who are already bringing their children to the pediatrics practice may find it a more comfortable place, where everybody (being treated) can stay at the same place. And when the children age out (of pediatrics) they will hopefully feel comfortable just moving across the hallway.”
The Mercy Well Child name has been established in Urbana since 1992, when it started as a monthly well visit clinic at Mercy Memorial Hospital with a nurse practitioner and collaborating pediatrician. At the time, Champaign County children were ranked third lowest in the state in regards to receiving their vaccines. Mercy Well Child worked with the United Way to lower the cost of vaccines, according to a press release. It later grew into a full-service pediatric practice, though it continues to focus on community initiatives. Those include holding quarterly events for at-risk families in collaboration with the Church of the Epiphany, geared toward mentoring, nutrition, parenting and fun. It became the first in the Mercy Health system to provide tele-psychology services and to integrate behavioral services into primary care. It established the Guardian Angel Fund in 1994 with donations from community businesses and individuals for children’s medications, dental emergencies and medical equipment purchases.
“This reinforces the idea of a medical home,” said Pediatrician Dr. Jene Bramel, who has worked at Mercy Well Child for seven years. “Our mission when we started was to have a place for families to come, primarily for pediatrics, now for family medicine as well, for infancy all the way into adulthood and beyond.”
Bramel said the practice is growing and they needed the additional space when Mercy Well Child moved from Mercy Memorial Hospital to its current location.
Current services continue
Though the two practices are combining, the same services at both will continue and may expand, Community Mercy Health Partners Director of Marketing and Communications Dave Lamb said. One or two more medical assistants or registrars may be added, and another full-time pediatrician is planned to be added.
Bowers said one service that is expanding is “MyChart,” an online site for patients to keep track of all their medical records with the practice. It also allows for scheduling appointments and even conducting virtual visits with a doctor.
Champaign County Commissioner Bob Corbett said he could tell Bowers’ practice had grown.
“I’d drive by his office and see all the traffic and cars there. His business must be booming,” he said.
Champaign Economic Partnership Director Marcia Bailey said she was pleased to see both Bowers and Mercy Well Child will continue to operate in Urbana.
“I’m just excited. It’s nice to know that one location is more the holistic family practice, with pediatrics all the way up to adulthood and beyond. People can go to one location and have all those services available,” she said. “I’m also happy to see there’s still a doctor specializing in geriatrics, too.
“It’s nice to know we have options (in the county) with different medical providers,” Bailey added.
Urbana Director of Administration Kerry Brugger said the city is “always excited to see local businesses expand and broaden their base.”
“It appears Dr. Bowers’ relocation may provide a convenient location for the office as well as the collaboration with Mercy’s Well Child Pediatrics,” he said.
The combination of the two practices will link to other services in the community, such as Mercy Memorial Hospital, Mercy Memorial Wound Care Center, Excel Sports Medicine, Mercy McAuley Center, and specialists for cardiology, orthopedics and general surgery, Lamb said.
Bowers’ soon-to-be former office at the corner of state Route 55 and South U.S. Route 68 will become the office of Champaign County Internal Medicine’s Dr. Khadija Ahmed on July 11. Another provider is planned to be added to that practice, Lamb said.
To make an appointment or for more information, call Urbana Family Medicine and Pediatrics at 937-484-6157.
An open house will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Friday, July 22, at Urbana Family Medicine and Pediatrics. The community is invited for food, fun, information about all of the programs in Urbana and a look at the facility.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.
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