Officials with Mercy Clinic-Fort Smith formally on Wednesday opened the Mercy Clinic Primary Care – Poteau facility.
Around 75 Mercy co-workers, chamber and community members were at the event, according to a Mercy statement.
It’s Mercy’s first clinic in LeFlore County, Okla., and a short distance from Dr. Arthur Pearson’s family home near Gore, Okla. Dr. Pearson said there’s a great need for family medical care in rural Oklahoma, considering that half of the state’s residents live outside city limits.
“I’m happy to be in this community, and I hope to stay here for a very long time,” he said.
Dr. Cole Goodman, president of Mercy Clinic-Fort Smith, said Mercy had been in talks with Pearson for at least three years about establishing the Poteau clinic. Poteau is underserved and has lost some physicians recently, he said.
“This young doctor is a man of integrity who was always dedicated to coming back to practice where he grew up,” Goodman said. “When you have an opportunity to hire a young man like this, you seize the day.”
Pearson began taking patients in early August. He sees children and adults and accepts most insurance, Medicare and Medicaid. Pearson completed his medical training at the University of Saint Eustatius School of Medicine in St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles. He was a resident in family medicine at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine rural program in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
The newly renovated clinic, featuring four exam rooms, is located on the main thoroughfare in Poteau at 2110 N. Broadway St., behind Taco Mayo.