|Marion Medical Plaza held an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 27. Shown here, from left, are: Thomas Atkinson, MD, of McDowell Medical Associates; Kathy Bailey, president and CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge; Marion Mayor Steve Little; and Marion Councilwoman Juanita Doggett.|
The newly opened Marion Medical Plaza is not a typical doctor's office or medical complex. Opened in conjunction with Carolinas HealthCare System and Blue Ridge HealthCare, the 22,000 square foot facility, located on Sugar Hill Road in McDowell County, was designed with some input from physicians and staff.
Marion Medical Plaza is home to McDowell Medical Associates, which is the largest primary care practice in the county, Women's Health Group, Blue Ridge Radiology, Marion Pharmacy and McDowell Express Care. The mission architecturally styled facility has more than 40 patient exam rooms.
This concept is considered a one-stop shop to meet most of the medical needs of the community. Patients are able to obtain X-rays, ultrasounds, mammograms or MRIs right away and can pick up their prescriptions before leaving. The Express Care, an extension of McDowell Medical Associates, is similar to an urgent care but has a lesser co-pay. Specialty providers from Blue Ridge HealthCare's Morganton hospital will rotate services such as pulmonary, gastroenterology and orthopedics.
"The setup is really nice for the community and very convenient for patients which means improved patient care overall," said Gregory Simolke, MD, an obstetrician/gynecologist with Women's Health Group.