The Alton Memorial Convenient Care staff includes, seated left to right, Crystal Tadlock, patient service representative; Lori Sutphin, medical assistant; and Elizabeth Pierson, medical assistant. Standing from left: Wendy Goff, medical assistant; Katie Barnard, family nurse practitioner; Julie Christian, physician assistant; Sarah Becker, family nurse practitioner; and Beverly Taylor, practice manager.
From Illinois Business Journal news services
ALTON — As a mom of two young girls and a business owner, Andrea Abbott doesn’t have a lot of extra time. She can’t always predict when she or her daughters will come down with something, so visiting the doctor during normal business hours isn’t always an option.
“We’ve all used Alton Memorial Convenient Care, and I’m so grateful it is there for us,” Abbott says. “It’s extremely quick and easy to use. The entire staff is very friendly, they know who you are and they really care about you.”
Open since March 2014, Alton Memorial Convenient Care is a health-care center that takes walk-in patients who have health issues such as allergic reactions; cold and flu symptoms; muscle or joint injuries; burns and sunburns; and infections, among other ailments. The Convenient Care clinician team of physician assistants and nurse practitioners see the patients and can write prescriptions when needed.
Convenient Care, 5520B Godfrey Road in Godfrey, is open from 2 to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Abbott says it’s the little things done by the Convenient Care staff – such as the day her youngest daughter was not feeling well and fell asleep on the way to the center. The staff told her she could just wait in the car with her sleeping daughter, and they would come get her when it was time for her appointment.
Abbott’s daughters have both been treated for fevers and ear infections by one of the center’s physician assistants or nurse practitioners. The staff sends a report directly to the girls’ pediatricians to keep their records current.
Abbott herself suffers from asthma and has had to visit Convenient Care for her own treatment.
“I’ve been there for an asthma attack, and as soon as I walked in they knew what was happening and were able to give me a breathing treatment,” she says. “In the past, before Convenient Care, I would have tried talking myself out of going all day, and then I would have had to go to the emergency room.”
On another occasion, Abbott was able to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family thanks to the convenience of the Alton Memorial Convenient Care when she was diagnosed and treated for a double ear infection and strep throat the night before the holiday.
“I feel very confident with the care we have all received,” she adds. “Julie (Christian) and everyone there is wonderful and extremely knowledgeable.”
A physician assistant, Julie Christian leads the Alton Memorial Convenient Care’s team of clinicians. The center’s medical director is Olusegun Coker, MD, of Family Physicians of Alton.
Since its opening, Convenient Care has seen a continuous growth and demand for its services, with an average of 30 patients a day.
“’Our patients start at 6 months old and up, and they are coming from throughout the area, including Calhoun County, Jerseyville and even St. Louis for a variety of needs,” Christian says. “We’re receiving nothing but positive feedback and are glad we can offer this service to the community.”
While most patients are walk-ins, appointments are accepted for camp, school and sports physicals. The center accepts most insurance plans, cash, check and credit cards.
With seven exam rooms and a procedure room, the Convenient Care team treats everything from rashes to sinus and ear infections to strep throat and lacerations, Christian says.
Although the majority of Convenient Care patients don’t require emergency room care, Christian says when the need arises they are able to immediately advise a patient to go to the emergency room and arrange for transport in cases of chest pains, severe burns and situations that require advanced care.
“Every day is different, and that’s what makes working here so interesting,” Christian says. “We’re able to help a real mix of patients when they are in need at a time that is convenient for them.”
Alton Memorial Convenient Care facts
5520B Godfrey Road
• Open 2-10 p.m. seven days a week
• Walk-in appointments for patients 6 months and older
• Appointments also accepted for school, sports and camp physicals
Common ailments seen at Alton Memorial Convenient Care include:
• Allergies and allergic reactions
• Back pain
• Burns and sunburns
• Cough, cold or flu symptoms
• Dental problems
• Hand infections
• Insect bites or rashes
• Joint sprain or pain
• Minor muscle strains
• Minor scrapes, cuts or bruises
• School and camp physicals
• Sinus pain