Deaconess opened a new $26 million medical building last week that is now home to the first ever pediatric urgent care in the tri-state

Medical Office Building No. 2 is located at the Deaconess Gateway Campus in Newburgh, and is where hospital officials held a ribbon cutting on Oct. 26.

Shawn McCoy, CEO of Deaconess Health Systems, said the new building is one of four major expansion projects that Deaconess has been working on in Newburgh since January 2016.

"And today, I'll tell you, we are halfway done," he said. "This opening gets us the medical office building. In the summer, we opened the energy center. And then in January, we will open the parking garage."

McCoy said the final project will be the Orthopedic and Neuroscience Hospital in April.

McCoy joked about the search to find the perfect name for Medical Office Building No. 2.

"Our marketing people traveled around the entire world, meeting with the most creative people they could find," he said. "And they came back and said number two and that's what we are, number two."

McCoy said that in all seriousness, the name is to help people find the building more easily on campus.

"From 1992 to now, there has been a lot of growth here," he said. "And it's harder to find things today then when we started."

Keith Tolar was hired on as the new medical director for Medical Office Building No. 2 and has over 20 years of experience in general pediatrics.

"I started my practice and you know, did what every general pediatrician does," he said. "We do wellness care, sit care, disease management, we handle after hours calls, we take care of newborns, we take care of sick kids in the hospital."

But Tolar said much has changed in general pediatrics over the years, including the rise of wellness clinics and urgent care clinics.

"And it's significantly pulled the center of care away," he said, "from the general pediatrician in relation to that patient."

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Tolar said surveys have found that parents and families prefer to see their primary doctors.

"But because of time constraints and financial constraints, when their child injures their wrist at gym practice, you know after school," he said, "it's either miss the day of work the next day or go to a walk in clinic."

Tolar said the pediatric urgent care clinic is the prime opportunity to bridge the deficiencies that the shifts in pediatrics over the years has caused.

"So you know that, if you have an after hours problem or urgent problem and your pediatrician can't get you in," he said, "you're going to someone that is trained in the same way your pediatrician is trained, and will give you the same quality of care."

Tolar said he likes that Deaconess is integrating everything.

"So you have our pediatric urgent care but you also have this large group of pediatricians and we're here to support them and help them do what they do and not pull away from them," he said, "so when I see your child after hours, they are aware of that and they are in the loop."

Tolar said the urgent care clinic is not a competition between them and the pediatricians.

"It's a collaborative effort to take care of a child," he said, "and I think that makes all the difference in terms of providing good quality care."

Tolar said the pediatric urgent care is not only available, but also cost effective.

"Twelve hours a day, seven days a week," he said. "You can always go to the ER for that wrist injury that is going to cost you more and not be as convenient."

Tolar said the pediatric urgent care will treat anything acute, but not chronic.

"Unless it's exacerbation of chronic," he said. "We'll treat anything urgent, including acute illnesses, fevers, dehydration."

Tolar said they can put in an IV if a child is dehydrated, and do breathing treatment and supportive care if they are having respiratory problems. They also treat anything acute.

"Like lacerations, burns," he said, "bone or joint injuries, fractures."

Deaconess pediatric urgent care can provide care for physicals for school, sports or camps, illnesses such as strep throat, bronchitis, colds, coughs and flu, infections such as ear, eye, sinus, skin or urinary tract/bladder, minor burns, allergic reactions, breathing treatments, rashes, including poison ivy, scabies, sunburn, cuts or lacerations, including those needing stitches, stings or bites, broken bones and fractures, ear wax removal, headaches, head lice assessment, splinter removal, sports injuries and strains or sprains.

The clinic will be open on weekdays and weekends from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Marisa Patwa is a graduate of the University of Evansville with a degree in journalism and minor in political science.

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