UT Physicians, the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, is opening its first urgent care center on Monday, Aug. 8, in southeast Houston. The clinic will provide patients with a favorable alternative to an ER for immediate, non-life-threatening medical care.
“This is the next big step for UT Physicians,” said Andrew Casas, chief operating officer of UT Physicians and senior vice president of UTHealth Houston. “Our patients have been requesting an option for after-hour care from us. They put their trust in us and would prefer to see health care providers who are part of the university. In the long term, UT Physicians will strive to open more urgent care centers in clinical spaces we have across the city.”
Housed in the existing UT Physicians Multispecialty – Bayshore clinic at 11476 Space Center Blvd., the urgent care center is equipped with lab testing, X-ray imaging, and other diagnostic necessities to deliver immediate, expert medical attention in a comfortable and relaxed practice setting.
“We really needed a model where patients could go after hours. Part of our job is to expand continuous, collaborative, and comprehensive care to our communities,” said Thomas J. Murphy, MD, chief medical officer for UT Physicians community-based clinics.
“Bayshore is a good place to start our new service. Bayshore was one of our first community-based clinics, so it makes sense an urgent care facility should follow as we expand our reach of care in southeast Houston,” said Murphy, associate dean for community affairs and health policy and Stanley Family Distinguished Chair of Population Health and Community Medicine at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston.
The clinic will include physicians and other urgent care experts with the Department of Emergency Medicine at McGovern Medical School.
“The opening of our first urgent care center is part of our long-term initiative to get expert, fast, and compassionate care to our patients and our community when need they need it most — after hours and on the weekends,” said Bentley J. Bobrow, MD, FACEP, professor and chair of emergency medicine, John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Distinguished Chair, and Nancy, Clive and Pierce Runnells Distinguished Professor in Emergency Medicine at McGovern Medical School. “There is a need for urgent care services everywhere, and we are uniquely positioned to provide that for our community.”
“People will know by our name they’re receiving the highest standard of medical care, cutting-edge technology, and compassion at our urgent care center,” said Jonathan G. Rogg, MD, MBA, medical director of UT Physicians Urgent Care Center – Bayshore and associate professor of emergency medicine at McGovern Medical School.
Additionally, the urgent care staff can coordinate follow-up services for its patients with specialists from UT Physicians.
“Patients who receive treatment at an urgent care center often still need follow-up care. The advantage of being part of UTHealth Houston is that it can streamline the care process and create ease and efficiency for the patient. Our health care system can better ensure patients receive the full continuity of care,” Rogg said.
According to Tina E. Chacko, PA, co-director of advanced practice clinicians (APC) of emergency medicine at McGovern Medical School and lead APC for UT Physicians Urgent Care Center – Bayshore, all members of the urgent care center team are experts in their field.
“We recruited a strong team of experienced medical professionals who are highly capable of diagnosing and treating patients safely and quickly for a variety of medical issues, including wounds, sprains, infections, and so forth,” Chacko said. “Our team can also recognize any illness, injury, or condition that requires a higher level of care and will redirect those patients to an emergency center if needed.”
Ultimately, the goal of the new urgent care option is to make health care more accessible, efficient, and affordable for all people.
“You typically receive faster service at an urgent care center than an emergency room, and treatment and co-pays are often far less expensive,” said Marilyn M. Lester, practice plan operations liaison for UT Physicians. “We believe our patients and community will utilize this new health care option.”
UT Physicians Urgent Care Center – Bayshore is open Monday through Friday 5-9 p.m., Saturday 1-9 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m.-8 p.m. For any questions, call 713-486-0220.