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Pardee to open urgent care clinic in Mills River

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Pardee UNC Health Care plans to open a 2,500-square-foot urgent care center in the Ingles Shopping Center in Mills River by February, the hospital announced Thursday.

The urgent care center on N.C. 280 at North Mills River Road would be Pardee's third in Henderson County. It also operates clinics off of Four Seasons Boulevard and at the Mission Pardee Health Campus in Fletcher.

“We are excited to see the population and industry growth in the Mills River and Etowah areas of Henderson County,” Johnna Reed, chief administrative officer at Pardee, said in a news release. “As demonstrated with previous market growth, we see an increased demand for urgent care centers. Urgent care continues to play an integral role in the continuum of care and we want to make sure residents have the care they need, when and where they need it.”

The decision would appear to suspend, for now, any plans to develop a 20-acre parcel aross the road that Pardee bought in 2015.

“We continue to evaluate the best use for the property across the street,” Reed said. “Our board and our administration want to ensure that the health care services offered are in alignment with the long-range needs of the area.”

According to the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine, urgent care facilities fill the gap in health care that exists between the primary care provider and the emergency room. There are approximately 8,000 centers in the United States and another 1,200 retail clinics operating in mainstream drugstores. The difference in the two is that urgent care centers, like the one set to open in Mills River, provide a broader scope of services than a retail clinic.

Wounds, injuries, fractures, asthma attacks and mild concussions can be treated, in addition to the sore throats, common cold and allergic reactions treated in retail clinics. In addition, Pardee’s urgent care center will have X-ray and lab facilities, with board-certified providers providing medical services. Pardee’s urgent care centers also offer sports physicals and pre-employment physicals and testing.

“Since our urgent care centers are part of the larger Pardee UNC Health Care system, our physicians and medical staff can make the appropriate referrals if a patient presents with something more complicated,” said Reed. “In addition, patients usually find that the average cost of a visit to an urgent care center is significantly less than to an emergency department, with much less time spent waiting for care. While urgent care centers are not meant to replace the primary care physician, we do see them as transforming how patients access care, particularly after hours when their doctor may not be available.”


The opportunity for an urgent care center in the Ingles shopping center accommodated the immediate timing and needs of the community, she added.