MORTON, Wash. – Beginning Friday, February 4, East Lewis County residents will have an additional point of access for healthcare. The Arbor Health medical system is opening a Rapid Care Clinic inside Arbor Health’s Morton Clinic building. Much like an urgent care facility, the Rapid Care Clinic will not require appointments, patients will be seen on a walk-in basis.
CEO Leianne Everett said this endeavor has been a goal of the Arbor Health administration for several years. The year 2022 was slated to be the one. Originally, the goal was to open at the beginning of January. However, staffing challenges have postponed the opening. To start, the Rapid Care Clinic will be open on Fridays and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. When the clinic is fully staffed, the hours will be expanded to include Sunday-Monday with the same hours.
Everett explained that the service is greatly needed through all four of the days. In addition to the family medicine clinics being closed on the weekends, there are also fewer primary care providers on Fridays and Mondays. Most providers work four-day work weeks and often take that fifth day off on Fridays or Mondays.
She went on to explain that the addition of the Rapid Care Clinic is in line with Arbor Health’s vision of providing accessible, quality healthcare, as well as its mission of fostering trust and nurturing a healthy community. “Financial wellness is an important part of a healthy community,” she said. “Providing this level of care—which is significantly less expensive to the patient than emergency care—is right in line with where we need to be.”
Chief Medical Officer Kevin McCurry, M.D., explained that medical situations appropriate for the Rapid Care Clinic are those that need to be seen in the next 24-48 hours. “If something needs looked at today, right now, that is for the emergency room,” he said. “It is the things you want to be seen for, but you can’t get into see your doctor for a week or two—that’s the Rapid Care Clinic. Situations like stroke, chest pain, acute abdominal pain, unrelenting vomiting and badly broken bones still need to be seen in the emergency room.”
McCurry said the new service will be of help to the Morton Hospital emergency department as some of the patients currently being seen in the ER do not actually require a hospital-level of care. However, that’s the only health care resource the Arbor Health medical system currently offers beyond the primary care clinics. The addition of the new service will also help out the primary care clinics as the patients who are unable to get in right away can be referred to Rapid Care. But mostly, it will be a great help to the patient. “It always helps patients to have more access to medical care,” he said.
Arbor Health is looking for medical providers, medical assistants and office staff. Those qualified and interested should contact the Arbor Health Human Resources Department at 360-496-5112. The Arbor Health Rapid Care Clinic is located within the Morton Clinic, at 531 Adams Avenue, Morton. The Rapid Care staff can be reached at 360-496-3601.