CVS set to open medical clinic

Will provide quick treatment of minor illnesses, injuries

GREENFIELD — For those who think they might have strep throat or a bladder infection, but don’t have time to see a doctor or feel it is not serious enough to head to the emergency room, CVS will soon open a walk-in MinuteClinic on Federal Street where, in many cases, people will be able to get quick relief.

MinuteClinic will be similar to the AEIOU urgent care clinic that has been at 489 Bernardston Road for the past couple of years, but will not provide as much care.

According to MinuteClinic spokesman Brent Burkhardt, the CVS clinic will deal with minor medical issues, though it has added things like bladder infections and sports, camp and college physicals to the list of services it provides.

According to Christine Kulig-White, practice manager at AEIOU, it provides all of the services MinuteClinic will provide but also does splinting, suturing and stapling, treats sprains, bladder and urinary tract infections, fractures, serious cuts and burns, and more.

Burkhardt said MinuteClinic will provide the most basic of care, including treatment of minor skin irritations, minor injuries and conditions like eye, ear and nose infections.

Both Burkhardt and Kulig-White said if someone believes they are having a heart attack or stroke, they should go to an emergency room.

Though other pharmacy chains, like Rite Aid and Walgreens, have similar clinics in some of their stores, they have not opened any in Franklin County — Rite Aid has stores in Greenfield, Orange and Turners Falls and Walgreens has a store in Greenfield — and there don’t seem to be plans to do so any time soon.

The MinuteClinic will be staffed by nurse practitioners who will diagnose, treat and write prescriptions, if needed, said Burkhardt.

The clinic, like AEIOU, will be open evenings and weekends and will provide common vaccinations, including flu, tetanus, pneumonia, and Hepatitis A and B.

Also like AEIOU, the clinic accepts most major health insurances and will also accept cash and credit card payments from people who do not have insurance or do not have insurance that is accepted.

MinuteClinic will send diagnostic records to primary-care physicians for every patient after every visit, and will provide a list of area doctors who are accepting patients for those looking for one.

“We do the same,” said Kulig-White.

According to Burkhardt, CVS has 750 clinics in its stores throughout 27 states. He said half of the patients that use MinuteClinic don’t have a doctor and about half are seen during the evening or on weekends and holidays.

CVS opened its first clinic in 2000, but it was known as QuickMedx at that time. The company’s clinics have seen a total of 17 million patients to date and MinuteClinic earned accreditation from the Joint Commission, a national evaluation and certifying agency for health care organizations and programs in the United States, in 2006.

Patients must be 24 months or older to be seen.

MinuteClinic will refer patients with more serious problems to a local doctor or hospital in the area, as does AEIOU.

Burkhardt said MinuteClinic is a way for people to receive good, affordable health care for minor issues.

He said CVS expects to open MinuteClinic on Federal Street in early 2014.

For more information, including treatments and prices, visit:

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