Construction workers with their punch list are winding up the last few details on Mercy’s new outpatient clinic in Springdale which is set to open Sept. 18. The 63,000 square-foot facility is coming in on time and on budget, according to Kerry Harper, executive director of support services for Sisters of Mercy Health System.
The clinic plan was expanded in early 2018 for a total investment of $47 million, which included land and construction costs. Harper said the clinic will offer comprehensive primary care, specialty care with diagnostic testing on-site as well as 24-hour emergency and a level 3 trauma center which behavioral health.
Harper said the facility in a first phase will not offer outpatient surgery, nor does it have inpatient beds. He said the property allows for expansion for those services should the demand dictate. The overall site has 31 acres and is accessible from Interstate 49 at the Elm Springs Road exit.
When the clinic opens Sept. 18, it will be Mercy’s largest outpatient clinic in Northwest Arkansas with 60-plus exam rooms, 29 of which are for primary care and 34 for specialty care. Harper said cardiology and endocrinology specialists will be on staff full-time at the clinic with specialists for audiology, internal medicine, neurology and pulmonology rotating from the Rogers’ hospital on specific days.
The clinic will also serve primary care pediatrics and convenient care in addition to primary care. Eric Pianalto, president of the Mercy Hospital system in Northwest Arkansas, said in 2017 that regional growth was behind Mercy’s expansion into Springdale. He said the region was underserved and Mercy was seeking to fill that gap.
Dr. Larry Schimmel, a long-time physician in Springdale, will move his practice to the new clinic. Other doctors and staff will be coming from other locations along with several new hires.
Martine Pollard, executive director of public relations at Mercy, said the new clinic will have an average daily staff of about 60 healthcare providers and support. She said the project is part of Mercy’s $277 million healthcare expansion plan in the region which will add about 1,000 jobs over three to four years. Pollard said with a year to go, about 800 new hires have been made.
Dr. Steve Goss, president of Mercy Clinics, told Talk Business & Politics Mercy wants to staff the facility with a blend of veteran local care providers with new providers.
Harper said roughly two dozen healthcare providers will work in the Springdale clinic. He said the clinic also has a helipad outside the emergency department for transporting critically ill patients.
“Mercy determined the need for a medical campus in this area after a two-year study that looked at population trends, community health outcomes and limits in access to care,” according to Jennifer Cook, spokeswoman for Mercy.
She referenced two major gifts that supported the clinic – a $1.5 million lead gift from the Shewmaker family and a $250,000 grant from the James M. Cox Foundation.
Harper said Mercy has received its occupancy certificate and all the required licenses to open. More than 600 construction workers took part in the building and finishing this project. Roughy 150 construction workers were at work at the facility each day over the last year, many of which were sourced locally.