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Local media, elected municipal officials, and residents who know a good—and necessary—thing when they see one united in welcoming a new urgent care to an underserved corner of western Kansas. St. Catherine Hospital first recognized the need for a new community health resource to offset the pressure building in its own overcrowded emergency room, where patients complained about having to wait hours—or months, in extreme cases—just to be seen by a physician. Garden City, now home to St. Catherine’s own Convenient Care clinic, has been hit especially hard by a physician shortage. Add to that a recent spike in the population, and the situation was growing more dire by the week before the new clinic opened. One local mother noted that “anything that helps me take care of my babies is welcomed,” while a county commissioner called the new clinic “a great plus for the community.” The local media coverage assured that residents—ie, potential patients and customers—knew that the clinic was open, the array of services it offered, and the hours they could walk in instead of going to that busy ED. Savvy urgent care operators will look to shore up support in the community and secure media coverage in advance of holding their own ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Community’s Welcome Shows the Benefit of a Well-Orchestrated Opening