The Union Recorder

March 20, 2013

New urgent care center set to open

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Residents in the Milledgeville-Baldwin County area will soon have the opportunity to receive prompt care for their minor emergencies at a new urgent care center.

Dr. John Souza is opening his third Hillcrest Urgent Care location in the former Blockbuster shopping center off of North Columbia Street next to the up and coming Firehouse Subs. A ribbon cutting and open house is slated Wednesday, April 3 at 11:30 a.m. before it officially opens for business Monday, April 8.

“Urgent care centers are designed to provide extended after hours during the week and weekends to address minor emergencies that would otherwise end up in the emergency room,” he said Monday while stopping by the business to meet with Randy Daniel of Daniel Custom Construction of Eatonton. “Why go to the emergency room for a minor emergency when you can come to a place like this?”

The urgent care center manages common conditions patients suffer from including high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, headaches, stomach aches, coughs and colds, flu, lacerations, simple fractures, minor burns, drug screens and pregnancy tests.

“We operate like the emergency room. When someone comes in with a serious injury, we immediately whisk them straight back and stabilize them. For less emergent problems, patients would sign-in and be brought back to see a provider and do a lab or x-ray as necessary,” Souza said. “Our goal is to try to get people out of here under an hour.”

The Milledgeville Hillcrest location will have a full service x-ray and lab, eight exam rooms, an observation room to administer IV fluids and medication, and be equipped with the ability to conduct an EKG and Holter monitor.

“Our cost is way cheaper when comparing to the emergency room. A minor laceration that may cost $150 to treat here will cost more than $1,000 at the ER; the cost can be five to 10 times higher. A lot of things we do in our business really reflects the true cost. We’re not out to gauge the public; we’re making a living by providing great care,” Souza said. “We accept most insurances and have a really affordable cash program called ValueMed.”

Doctors, nurse practitioners, x-ray technicians and medical assistants will be employed at Hillcrest.

“Typically each Hillcrest center has around 13 to 14 full-time employees,” Souza said. “We are currently hiring for positions at the Milledgeville location. We will be conducting interviews [today], so if people are interested they can go online and apply.”

Souza first opened a Hillcrest Urgent Care center in Dublin in 2008 followed by a location in Eastman a year later. Currently an urgent care center is under construction in Albany and is slated to open in September.

“We’re pretty much done here. We have to clean up, put some finishing touches and get equipment installed,” he said of the local Hillcrest location. “This space is about 3,000 square-feet, and we’re set up enough so that when we are busy, we can have two providers seeing patients.”

Milledgeville’s only urgent care center will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

“We’re very familiar with the Milledgeville area because we have a lot of friends in the medical community here, so we were aware of the fact that there was a need for an urgent care center,” Souza said. “Our main focus is providing high quality, prompt care at an affordable price. Excellent customer service is the hallmark of our brand of care. I’m excited and looking forward to being close to the lake and working with patients in this area.”

For more information call (478) 295-3000, or visit www.hillcresturgentcare.com.

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