Mercy expanding primary care services in Delavan

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Friday, September 13, 2013

DELAVAN--Mercy Health System's new clinic in Delavan will more than double the number of primary care providers in the city.

That's good news for patients, who will have more choices.

It's also good news for Walworth County, which suffers from a dearth of primary care provides, according to a UW-Madison study.

On Monday, the clinic at 1038 East Geneva Street will open its doors to patients. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct 12, the clinic will open its doors to the general public for an open house.

Mercy's previous clinic, which was also at that location, was razed. The new 8,000-square-foot building includes space for three family practitioners, a nurse practitioner and an ob/gyn specialist, said Mercy Vice President Jeni Hallatt.

Other specialists are expected to rotate through the clinic in the future.

The clinic will also provide X-ray services and a small lab.

Two of the three primary care physicians will start immediately, and a third will arrive next summer, Hallatt said.  The nurse practitioner, who will provide primary care under the direction of a physician, will also start immediately.

The new clinic wasn't built just to update an old facility, Hallatt said.

“We did some research and found that there was a deficit of primary care physicians in the area,” Hallatt said.

The study from the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation defined primary care physicians as doctors who work in general practice, family, internal or pediatric medicine.

There are 1,247 residents for every primary care physician in Wisconsin, the study reported. With just 40 doctors serving more than 100,000 residents, Walworth County had a ratio of 2,559-to-1, which ranks among the state's worst.

Only 10 of Wisconsin's 72 counties have a worse ratio.

Mercy also recently opened a new clinic in Elkhorn, adding two new doctors. Hallatt said Mercy hopes to add two additional doctors at the Elkhorn clinic within two years.

For a flavor of what the new Delavan clinic will be like, local residents can attend the open house at Mercy's new Elkhorn clinic at 839 N. Wisconsin St. from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. 

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