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Memorial, JET join to open health care clinic

June 06, 2012
Crawford County residents now have another option when it comes to primary health care, thanks to a partnership between Jasper Engines and Transmissions and Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper.

Located in the northeast corner of JET's Carefree facility, the new Crawford County Family Medicine opened Monday and builds upon JASPER Health WoRx, which opened Feb. 1. The clinics share the same space and staff, but, whereas JASPER Health WoRx is available only for JET associates and their families, Crawford County Family Medicine is open to anyone.

Nurse practitioner La Vonne Griepenstroh, left, and registered nurse Whitney Novak, right, with the help of Jasper Engines and Transmissions associate Kathy Meador, demonstrate how quickly JET associates on the JASPER Health WoRx side of the clinic can receive care. The public side of the clinic — Crawford County Family Medicine — opened Monday. Photo by Chris Adams
"This is truly a different health care model where the goal is health and wellness education, short wait times, longer time with the health care providers, all while serving as the hub in coordinating all the patient's health care needs," Joe LaHue, director of medical practice management with Memorial Hospital, said. He added that, "as a Crawford County resident, I'm excited about the potential impact this model could have on the community."

Whitney Novak, the clinic's registered nurse and, like LaHue, a Crawford County resident, said the wait times for patients before being seen by her or nurse practitioner La Vonne Griepenstroh have been about two minutes for JASPER Health WoRx patients and she expects it to be about the same for those of Crawford County Family Medicine.

Linda Goeppner, JET's director of wellness, safety, benefits and corporate people services, said that is well under the goal of five to 10 minutes. She added the clinic also is meeting its goal of each patient spending up to 40 minutes with the nurse practitioner and registered nurse.

Griepenstroh said the level of care offered at the clinic is consistent with other primary care facilities, but what makes it unique is that detailed personal interaction.

"It's the same concept, but it's a different approach, because we want to get to know them," she said of patients.

Goeppner said the JASPER Health WoRx side already has been successful in building relationships between Griepenstroh and Novak and JET associates. Having the facility on-site has made it easy for associates to seek health care when fighting an illness or when needing a general check-up, she said. Plus, being in the same building is convenient for follow-up visits or to seek answers to questions about their care.

"This is really intended to be a hub of all (health care) activity" for JET associates, Goeppner said of JASPER Health WoRx, noting they have access to acute, episodic, chronic, wellness and work-related health care. In addition, many prescription drugs are available, keeping associates from having to stop at a pharmacy on their way home.

While the on-site pharmacy is available only to JET associates and their families, the Crawford County Family Medicine side of the facility also is intended to be a hub of health care activity for the general public, LaHue said. Included in that is education and preventive care, he said.

Griepenstroh said the clinic, which has two treatment rooms, can do routine physicals as well as female examinations. Plus, the clinic can perform rapid tests for things like strep throat, has an electrocardiograph machine and even can rent nebulizers for persons with breathing difficulties, she said.

"It's a full-service facility," Griepenstroh said.

Novak added the clinic, through its affiliation with Memorial Hospital, has access to resources for patients needing more advanced care.

Rita Howell, director of community relations for Memorial Hospital, said the hospital offers nearly every medical specialty.

With about half of its patients being from outside Dubois County, Memorial Hospital, which also has primary care offices in Orange, Martin, Pike and Spencer counties, has developed into a regional health care provider, she said. Although it already has many patients from Crawford County, the partnership with JET, Howell said, has allowed the hospital to further increase its presence in the county.

"It really is a win, win, win situation for everyone," she said, explaining that includes JET associates, Memorial Hospital "and, most importantly, the people of Crawford County."

Hours for the Crawford County Family Medicine clinic are Monday, noon to 4 p.m.; Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; and Friday, 8 to 11 a.m.

Walk-ins are accepted, but appointments are preferred. To schedule an appointment, call toll-free at 1-855-315-4944.

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