A mission of healing: Pella Regional Clinic to open doors Sept. 10 in Ottumwa

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

MARK NEWMAN  |   OttumwaCourier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — “The doctor ‘is’ accepting new patients.”

Being able to have staff answer callers in that way is one of the reasons Pella Regional Health Center is opening its new clinic in Ottumwa.

The new branch already has patients making appointments, though they’ll have to wait until 8 a.m. on Sept. 10 to be seen.

That’s when Pella Regional opens their medical clinic at 920 N. Quincy Ave., the location of the former Rex TV and Appliance.

 “Since the announcement of our new medical clinic in Ottumwa was made public,” said Pella Regional CEO Bob Kroese, “we’ve received calls and emails ... our patient list is already growing.”

“This is not a walk-in clinic,” said hospital spokesperson Cyndi Atkins. “We’re a medical clinic — a medical ‘home,’ so you have a [doctor’s name] when asked who your provider is.”

Atkins said Pella Regional had done research showing the doctor-to-patient ratio in Ottumwa showed too few doctors. Ottumwa residents have been saying for years — without any research — that many doctors “aren’t accepting new patients.” That is, if you’re not already being seen there, you can’t make an appointment.

Even if you are a current patient, it may still be weeks or months before an appointment.

“We were told of the primary care need in this area,” Kroese said, “so we saw an opportunity to extend our mission: providing health care and healing services with Christian compassion.”

When they first started discussing plans to open a clinic in Ottumwa, Atkins said, they knew very few specifics.

Now, they’ve hired family practice doctors, certified physician’s assistants and staff to provide primary care.

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