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December 06. 2012 1:05AM

Urgent care center to open in Windham


Rebecca LaFrance, a registered nurse, led visitors on a tour of Convenient MD during the clinic's open house on Wednesday in Windham. (APRIL GUILMET/Union Leader Correspondent)

WINDHAM - Convenient MD, a full-service urgent care center, will begin accepting patients soon.
On Wednesday afternoon, the urgent care center, located just off Exit 3 on Interstate 93 at 125 Indian Rock Road, company officials opened the doors for dozens of citizens curious to get a sneak peak at the long-awaited clinic.
Company president Gareth Dickens said a second clinic is being built in Concord and is expected to open early this summer. Plans for five other clinics are in the works around New Hampshire and southern Maine.
Chief Executive Officer Max Puyanic, a native of Florida who now calls Portsmouth his home, said he chose the Salem area as the site of his first clinic because he saw an enormous need in that community.
"It's the only large community in New Hampshire without a hospital or emergency room," Puyanic said. "As the result, residents requiring immediate care beyond the scope of their primary care provider must travel to surrounding communities, where they experience long lines and high costs."
According to state statistics, Granite State patients pay an average co-pay of $100 to $250 in emergency rooms, depending on their insurance plans, with costs totaling around $800 if the patient's deductable hasn't been met. At Convenient MD, insured patients pay their specialist co-pay, typically around $30 or $40. Uninsured patients pay $100 per visit, with lab work or X-rays costing an additional $50.
"The intention here is that if someone walks in here without insurance and needs a lot of lab work done, that fee is capped at $50," Puyanic said.
Convenient MD will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days per week, with a staff of 15 employees, including doctors, registered nurses, medical assistants and X-ray technicians. All of the nurses on board have had extensive experience in emergency room settings, Puyanic said, and the facility's medical director is Dr. Jeffrey Collins, who previously served as medical director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Urgent Care Center in Chelsea.
Designed to offer walk-in treatment for everyday illnesses like colds, flu, asthma attacks and bronchitis, as well as broken bones, wounds, sprains and burns, the facility features a half-dozen exam rooms, a digital X-ray studio, medical lab and an EKG machine onsite.
Convenient MD will also offer services like flu shots and sports physicals. Puyanic recently approached coaches at the nearby schools and offered them free physical vouchers to distribute to area children whose families don't have insurance.
"For us, it's all about offering convenient, quality care in this alternative to the emergency room," Puyanic added.
Convenient MD in Windham is scheduled to open today, though it is possible the opening could be delayed for another day or two while officials finalize state licensing requirements. For more information, call 501-0878 or visit convenientmd.com.
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April Guilmet may be reached at AGuilmet@newstote.com.



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