MinuteClinic offers Kent residents a new option for medical care


Submitted photo.

Leighann McGivern

MinuteClinic, a CVS pharmacy walk-in medical clinic, opened its doors Aug. 25 at the new CVS Pharmacy at 500 S. Water St.

According to its website, MinuteClinic is “a division of CVS Caremark Corporation, the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States.”

MinuteClinic offers a number of medical services for non-urgent care, including treatment for simple illnesses such as infections, viruses and respiratory conditions as well as screenings for diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure. They also write prescriptions and offer a wide range of vaccinations, specifically those required by the university.

MinuteClinic has approximately 600 locations across 25 states and 19 locations in Ohio.

Emma Groethe, nurse practitioner and district manager for Cleveland-area MinuteClinics, said MinuteClinic saw a need for retail health care in the Kent area.

“We identified that there is a need for health care that’s easily affordable, convenient after hours and that offers people an alternative to the emergency room or urgent care for simple problems,” Groethe said.

The staff at MinuteClinic is made up of nurse practitioners who can refer patients to Kent State’s DeWeese Health Center or other primary care physicians in the event a patient needs further care. The Kent MinuteClinic also collaborates with physicians in the Cleveland Clinic to address any medical concerns.

“They’re just a phone call away if we should have any questions,” Groethe said.

MinuteClinic accepts most health insurances as well as Medicaid and Medicare. They occasionally offer free community screenings.

“When you come in, we will accept co-payments that you would pay in an office visit,” Groethe said. “Whatever your insurance contract indicates, that’s your payment.”

The Kent location is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Groethe said being open past normal business hours allows students and working residents to avoid missing school and work.

“It’s convenient for people because in the busy lives we lead, we just can’t afford to take off work,” Groethe said. “We’re not your primary-care physician, but there’s really just nothing out there that can meet the needs for simple health-care problems to be evaluated and managed outside of the primary-care physician or the emergency room or urgent care.”

Tiffany Dunlap, a 2005 Kent State nursing alumna, is one of two nurse practitioners at the MinuteClinic.

“I definitely wanted to stay in the area because I liked it so much when I went to school there,” Dunlap said. “It provides some of the students with a means to get service after the [DeWeese Health Center] has closed. We also do refer back to the [DeWeese Health Center] or their primary-care physician as needed if there are services we don’t provide or they need a follow up.”

Unlike DeWeese Health Center, Groethe said MinuteClinic writes excuses for students they feel shouldn’t be attending classes because of medical issues. Kent health commissioner Jeff Neistadt said the Kent Health Department doesn’t regulate or inspect medical clinics like MinuteClinic, but he did share his opinion on their services.

“I think they’re great for simple-care items, but as far as true medical emergencies, I think people need to understand that they’re there for minor issues and not more-serious health concerns,” Neistadt said.

Similar retail clinics such as the Walgreens Take Care Clinic and Acme Fresh Market ExpressCare Clinics are available throughout the Cleveland area with similar business hours. Groethe said MinuteClinic would be opening another location in Hudson later this year.

Contact Leighann McGivern at [email protected].

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