Van Wert Health North Celebrates Completion

VAN WERT – While the facility isn’t open to the public until June 25, a crowd gathered at Van Wert Health North Thursday morning to celebrate the facility with a ceremony and ribbon cutting.

The 29,000 square-foot facility cost $12.5 million and comes equipped with the latest and best open MRI. The facility, which added upwards of 20 new jobs to the area so far, will give patients access to a walk-in clinic with primary care, physical medicine and rehabilitation, occupational health, laboratory, and radiology/imaging, which aside from the MRI, includes CT scan and X-ray capabilities.

The open MRI is a 1.2-tesla advanced high-field magnet that will give patients a cost-effective option to meet their needs for $600 or less.

“We're going to be that organization that thinks about the patient as we go into the future so that they can afford it,” said Van Wert Health CEO Jim Pope during Thursday’s ceremony. “We’re here for the patient, we’re here for all of our employees that work here, and we’re here for all of you in the community.”

The walk-in clinic can provide care for non-life-threatening illnesses, conditions, and injuries for patients of all ages with no appointment required. Colds, flu, sinus infections, strep throat, ear pain, poison ivy, minor lacerations, minor burns, urinary tract infections, acute back pain, and most pre-participation sports and camp physicals are just some of the minor injuries and illnesses that can be treated at Van Wert Health North.

Pope said that if a person is having chest pains or believes they are having a stroke or other similar illnesses they should go to the ER. However, if a person comes to the walk-in clinic with a life-threatening injury or illness, Van Wert Health North staff will be able to find them the help they need. The facility comes equipped with space for an ambulance to enter and receive patients.

“Most of the things that you would go see your doctor for, you could come here for,” said Pope. “If you can, we would love you to go see your primary care physician, your doctor or your nurse practitioner, but if you can’t get in there or you don’t happen to have one, then certainly we would like you to come here.”

Van Wert Health North is a walk-in clinic rather than an urgent care, said Pope, because, under a walk-in, the patient’s insurance can be billed differently allowing for more affordable care. If a patient has a co-pay of $25 at their regular doctor, that is what they will pay to visit a doctor or nurse practitioner at the new facility.

“This is about the people, and it’s about what we do for the people,” said Pope. “Our mission is to be the best community hospital. It’s a journey, and it’s one of those journeys that you’re on that you never quite get to because you always have to get better. Health care is changing; health care is improving.”

“We want to be the first choice for health care within the region,” Pope continued. “What we’re trying to do in this project that we developed here is this concept of trying to create an affordable place to come to get your health care.”

The facility includes a walking path around the retention pond. While not a large path, Pope said the idea was to create a healthy living mindset. The facility also includes larger exam areas to accommodate patients and families.

During Thursday’s ceremony, David Wirt, representing Congressman Bob Latta’s office, presented the facility with a flag that had flown over the capital to recognize Van Wert Health North.

District 82 Representative Craig Riedel was also present and presented the facility with a declaration.

Pope recognized those who helped in making the vision of the facility become a reality and a toast was made to recognize the patients who will be treated, the staff who will treat the patients, and to anyone who comes through the doors of the facility.

“Everybody that comes through this door, our staff, our patients, everyone will be greeted with a smiling face and a helpful hand,” said Pope. “In health care, you don’t want to wish things on people, but you hope that you can provide an environment that when they need it, they will want to come here.”

For the future of Van Wert Health, Pope said that the organization will continue to move forward and to improve, with another project expected soon.

The clinic will be open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A public open house will be held on June 24 from noon until 3 p.m., and the facility will be officially open for business on June 25, 2018. Van Wert Health North is located at 214 Towne Center Blvd, Van Wert, Ohio.