More than 200 health professionals, local residents and city leaders attended the grand opening celebration of the new $13 million Mercy Clinic in Bella Vista on Thursday evening (Dec. 12).
The 32,950 square-foot facility houses about 75 Mercy workers who will staff the new clinic located at 1 Mercy Way, roughly two blocks east of U.S. 71 at Dartmoor Street.
It’s been more than a year in the making since Melba Shewmaker and her family donated $1.5 million to the project, a gift announced at the groundbreaking in the fall of 2012. The Shewmaker family attended Thursday’s event and received a special thanks from Lynn Britton, CEO of Mercy Health System.
“Jack Shewmaker and I visited all of the Mercy Hospitals during his board tenure and in every rural town we visited he always knew someone,” Britton told the group. “The Shewmaker family has been a great friend and partner with Mercy for many years.”
The new clinic opened earlier this week and offers multiple specialties including a pediatric center, family medicine, internal medicine and cardiology. An emergency room is slated for completion at a later date. The Mercy Life Line Air Medical Service will be available from the Rogers Hospital location to the Bella Vista Clinic on Feb. 1, according to Chris Mattes, emergency services network coordinator for the Mercy system.
“Mercy’s goal is to enhance health care in Bella Vista by bringing care directly to their community,” said Dr. Steve Goss, Mercy clinic president. “We are committed to the communities we serve and addressing their specific needs in as convenient a way as possible.”
The building is designed with patient convenience in mind.
“For instance, knowing parents often have their hands full, we positioned our pediatric wing at the south entrance for quick and convenient access,” said Goss. “We also have a special sick child waiting area, and all of the toys are designed with the kids’ health in mind.”
The $13 million campus also is designed to be a reflection of the community. From the smell of fresh brew rising in Callahan’s coffee shop onsite, to the local Cornerstone Pharmacy tucked away just adjacent to the community room, the facility includes many intentional community details.
“Where do people feel most comfortable? In their own hometown,” said Tina Brown, lead project manager at Mercy. “We learned that although patients want privacy, they also want to feel they are in an open environment. This led us to use frosted glass doors between waiting areas and doctor patient areas. These small adjustments go a long way in patients being more relaxed and feeling at home.”
Britton said the clinic was fashioned in a new design that is being rolled out systemwide in the future. The clinic also offers several radiology services including CT scans, echo and ultra sound. x-rays with plans to add MRI scans at some time the future.
Mercy officials also announced a $40,000 grant they just received from General Mills to construct a community garden and outdoor classroom on the clinic grounds in Bella Vista, located across the street from Cooper Elementary. This community garden is a partnership between Mercy, Cooper Elementary, General Mills and the University of Arkansas Master Gardeners. The project is slated from completion in 2014.
The evening was capped off with Christmas carols sung by a small choir from Cooper Elementary, live instrumental music was provided by the Adams Garrett duo and Callahan’s served up meat and cheese, sandwich trays with wine beer, coffee and hot chocolate.