By PHYLISS BOATWRIGHT
C-T Staff Writer
The Gateway Center, located on Durham Road south of Roxboro, is scheduled to open in December when Dr. Dan Phillips launches Roxboro MedAccess, an “urgicare” center that will offer an alternative to some emergency room visits as well as occupational medicine and lab services.
After 36 years in emergency medicine that has included work as an EMT, an Army medic, a flight surgeon and corporate medicine, Phillips said he felt uniquely qualified to deal with the community’s urgent care needs.
He said hopes that Roxboro MedAccess will provide medical care that will be service oriented.
“I am insistent,” he said this week, “that this will be a place where people can go for convenient care and a place where people know they can get in and get out” in a timely manner. “When people come” to the practice, he said, “I don’t want to waste their time.”
Part of the impetus behind the practice, Phillips said, is the fact that emergency room visits have nearly doubled in number since the mid 1990s. During that same time period, ERs have decreased.
But the urgent care center is not the only vision Phillips has for the new, six-acre site. He hopes to attract health and medical related businesses to the 9,300 square feet building that is currently under construction and hopes to one day build another, 21,000 square feet building on the site.
He said he would like to see a pharmacy and wellness-related businesses in the center as well as a diet center and medical equipment sales. He is actively recruiting businesses that would like to locate in Gateway Center.
“Early on, my vision was of a one-stop center where people can have all their medical needs met, someplace that people can go for convenient care.”
He said the practice would accept walk-ins and appointments and that patients with certain needs would be able to call in and get on the schedule for same-day care.
Phillips hope to serve business and industry here by offering physicals, drug screening and other routine care, as well as workplace injuries and Workmen’s Comp care. He said, when the practice is up and running, businesses would be able to submit information that the doctors can go by in following protocols for care.
“We will work with employers to get employees back to work quickly,” he said. “We will provide good care to the employee but get them back to work too.”
Phillips was careful to point out that his practice would not compete with or try to replace primary care physicians or care at Person Memorial Hospital. He said, rather, that he hoped to act as a referring doctor in most cases.
The practice will be “paperless,” Phillips said, and will be able to communicate with primary care doctors and the hospital electronically. He will offer on-site digital X-ray services, Phillips said, that he can then e-mail to other doctors.
The two-physician urgent care and occupational medicine center, which Phillips hopes to open Dec. 1, will feature a small lab and radiology facility that will be open 10 to 12 hours a day. Phillips projects that the practice will serve 30 to 40 patients per day when at full capacity.
Extended hours will be offered and the center will be open seven days a week, he said,
He said that, “There will be a strong focus on customer service and fees will be structured to be affordable for families and businesses.” The urgicare center will accept commercial insurance, he said.
Phillips, who will serve as one physician in the urgicare practice, is also residency trained and board certified in emergency medicine.
Roxboro MedAccess will eventually employ eight to 10 people, Phillips said. He is currently “in the process of getting a practice manager” hired, he said, and hopes to begin hiring other staff in October.
He and his wife Sandy have lived at Mayo Lake since 2001. He said that his wife, a nurse, would be involved in the practice as well.
The couple vacationed in Roxboro for years before moving here, Phillips said, and hope to be a vital part of the community.
He has already worked with coaches on getting physicals for student athletes. He hopes to continue working with the schools once the center is up and running.
Phillips said he had enjoyed working with Glen Newsome and the Economic Development Commission here, as well as Maria O’Neil and the Roxboro Area Chamber of Commerce. He said both the Chamber and the EDC had been very supportive of and helpful to the project.
The Phillips’ have two grown children. Their daughter is a teacher in South Carolina and their son is completing his medical residency.