Pikeville Medical Center started offering urgent care services at its new clinic in Prestonsburg this month.
The Prestonsburg Primary and Urgent Care Clinic, located on South Lake Drive, opened in Sept. 2019, offering primary care services. The hospital recently started providing urgent care services from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, at the clinic.
“This is the first urgent care we’ve had in this area. It’s the first one affiliated with Pike-ville Medical Center,” said Amber Epling, manager of the clinic and the hospital’s clinic in Martin.
She praised Prestonsburg officials and agencies for welcoming PMC into the community, saying that, “everybody in Floyd County and Prestonsburg has done nothing but accommodate us.”
On Tuesday, PMC officials spoke with reporters at the clinic to announce the new service, emphasizing the need to educate the public about what urgent care services are provided there.
The urgent care clinic is geared to treat unexpected illnesses and injuries that can’t wait for an appointment with a family doctor, they explained, and patients don’ t have to have an appointment to receive services.
The urgent care clinic helps patients with abdominal pain, animal or insect bites, bladder or urinary tract infections, moderate asthma and other types of “breathing discomfort,” bronchitis, cuts that may require stitches, ear infections, colds, flu, minor back pain, minor burns, nausea or diarrhea, pink eye, allergies, sprains, broken bones or vomiting, among other things.
The urgent care clinic is equipped to provide lab tests, vaccines, physicals and preventive screenings, radiology services, X-rays and other diagnostic tests for patients. Officials reported that PMC emergency room physicians will staff the clinic on a rotating basis.
They also reported that the urgent care clinic can coordinate appointments with specialists for some patients, including those who arrive with broken bones.
“What we have done is we have collaborated with every manager that is part of the clinics within the physician practice of Pikeville Medical Center, and that way, whenever a patient is seen, and, if it correlates with a specialty, we have time slots set with each clinic. The patient ... they’re going to leave here with an appointment,” Epling said.
Patients with potentially life-threatening illnesses and injuries are encouraged to call 911 and go to a hospital emergency room, and not the urgent care clinic.
“We’re trying to get out to the public the difference between urgent care and emergency services,” Epling said. “We want to be able to take care of patients that are in distress, but if you’re having chest pain or things like that, or your heart feels like it’s out of rhythm, you’re going to go on to the emergency room.”
PMC Neurologist Dr. Ryan Owens of Garrett also spoke with reporters, explaining that he specializes in helping patients with headaches, stroke, seizures, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease from the clinic in Prestonsburg.
“I think that Eastern Kentucky has always been a place that really has that special place in my heart and I really, again, I like this place, you know,” Owens said. “I grew up here and I definitely have a connection here.”
He explained that neurology is an underserved area of medicine in Kentucky and nationally and said he’s excited to be able to provide the services in Eastern Kentucky.
“So, I think that having the opportunity to come back and really be able to provide a really high level of care here in Eastern Kentucky, you know, it gives the opportunity for patients to get care here. They don’t have to drive to Lexington. They don’t have to drive to these bigger cities to be able to get care, top-notch care, for things that they may not have been able to before,” he said.
Referrals are required for appointments with Dr. Owens.
For more information, call, (606) 886-8175, or visit, pikevillehospital.org.