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Porter building ‘express’ clinic for urgent care

MIDDLEBURY — Porter Medical Center has begun construction on a new clinic that will serve people requiring immediate medical services, but who do not require the resources of an emergency department.
It’s going to be called “Porter Express Care,” and it is now being built into a 1,600-square-foot space within Porter’s Collins Building.
Porter officials said the new clinic will provide quick health care options for patients who might otherwise go to the emergency room. Porter spokesman Ron Hallman cited earaches, strep throat, lacerations, urinary tract infections, concussions and sports injuries as among the ailments that will appropriately be dealt with at Porter Express Care.
PMC President Dr. Fred Kniffin said the new clinic will give Addison County residents a new — and less expensive — care option that is quite common among other hospitals.
“At every community forum I have led over the past year, someone would invariably ask me when Porter would be opening up a local urgent care center so that they could receive this necessary service here in Addison County and not have to travel out of our community or obtain care in our emergency department for acute medical problems that are, in fact, not emergencies,” he said through a written statement. “We are very excited about this new project and, more important, our community is clearly both very excited and supportive of our new Express Care project.”
With a tentative June opening, Express Care will be open seven days per week — 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays; and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. It will be a walk-in service that will use the same medical records as Porter Medical Group in order to allow for sharing of clinical information with the patient’s primary care provider for follow-up care.
Construction of the new facility began this month. It will include five exam rooms and a separate entrance into the Collins Building.
Dr. Amanda Young helped plan the project and will serve as the clinic’s medical director.
“Our location in the Collins Building will allow for easy access to a variety of hospital support services such as lab and radiology,” she said. “We believe that Porter Express Care will provide convenient, high-quality and less costly health care services to our community than within a traditional emergency department setting.”
Porter has been considering opening such a service for many years, but a lack of funding and space have been consistent barriers, according to hospital officials.
Organizers recently solved the space issue when they identified the Collins Building conference rooms as a good spot for the clinic. They will create extra conference room space in the main hospital building to compensate for what is being lost in the Collins Building.
Boosters solved the financial obstacle for the clinic by tapping two revenue sources for the $485,000 project.
Project costs will be covered through a combination of donations and resources from Porter’s “contingency capital fund,” according to Hallman.
Organizers had set a target of raising $150,000 toward the $485,000 goal. As of Thursday, Porter officials were pleased to report pledges and major donations totaling $165,000. Major gifts thus far include two anonymous $50,000 contributions, a $50,000 pledge from the PMC Auxiliary, and a $15,000 pledge from the Middlebury Lions Club.
“During the month of March alone we have received almost $200,000 in pledges or donations toward the overall project cost of $485,000 and we have several more donors who are currently considering a commitment to this project,” Kniffin said.
He believes Porter Express Care will be a big success.
“This is a real win for Porter and our patients,” Kniffin said.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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