The new UIHC facility will provide more accessible medical care to an area where many residents must seek primary care services outside their communities.
A new University of Iowa Health Care facility specializing in primary care services is slated to open in 2025 in the southeastern Iowa city.
While the project is in the early stages of development, the facility’s planned location will increase access to health care in an area of the city with the fewest primary care options.
“In order to build strong neighborhoods and healthy communities, we must ensure that everyone has access to high-quality health care,” said Iowa Mayor Bruce Teague. said in a press release. “By establishing primary care services in this currently underserved neighborhood, we can have a positive impact on the health of our community for years to come.”
According to UIHCthe university has started the request for proposal process but has not decided on the developer or the exact location of the new facility in the selected area.
“By adding services to the southeast Iowa city, we are increasing access and reducing barriers for individuals seeking high-quality care,” Kim Hunter, interim chief executive officer and chief nursing executive at UIHC, said in a statement.
“There are a lot of people in the neighborhood who don’t have the time or the mobility available to drive all the way across town,” Bovey said. “With the medical clinic on this side of town, you know, it would make a lot of people very happy to know that medical care is easier to access.”
With a lack of available primary care options nearby, some South District residents must consider workday availability, childcare, transportation and other conflicts before seeking care.
To reach existing medical facilities, Bovey said some South District residents may need to cross the highway, which is not ideal for people.
“The only way to get across the highway is either by car or bike or on foot, and many of our residents don’t walk and don’t have cars,” Bovey said. “I’m lucky to have a car. I’m also lucky that the employers I’m able to work for are usually very cooperative about needing time off if I’m not well. This is definitely a privilege that not everyone can claim.”
Audra M. King, another resident of Southeast Iowa City, also expressed her support for how the new facility will reduce challenges for residents in accessing health care.
“I think something physically on this side of town would open so many doors for people who just have barriers that maybe other people don’t have,” King said. “It really just levels the playing field a little bit more by having a facility like this embedded in the community versus the expectation that people are always going to be able to, you know, walk across the river or take the bus or find a ride or whatever.”
As a parent, King said having a primary care facility nearby would make it easier if any of her children needed medical attention.
“While I have a primary care doctor that I’m very comfortable staying with, if there’s a structure that makes it easier for us to refer kids to the doctor when they get sick or, you know, get their primary care and then still be able to get everybody to school faster so they miss less school, I’m all for that,” she said.
King, who works for the UI Carver College of Medicine in the Office of Student and Curriculum Affairs, added that while the facility’s closer location will be beneficial for commuting reasons, it can also make receiving health care less intimidating. for the residents.
“I love having something on the east side of town, it’s like having it on your turf, like being in your own community where you feel comfortable, and [that] it can make it a little easier for people to take advantage of services,” she said.
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