New Health Clinic in Waterville Walmart
A new health clinic inside a store in Waterville is living up to the idea of one-stop shopping.Now customers who visit Wal-mart can grab their groceries, pick up things for the house and meet with a nurse practitioner – all in one trip.The in-store clinic is operated by an extension of Inland Hospital. Clinic administrator Hope Pendexter says it’s an easy way to make sure patients get the care they need. “There’s quite a large population of patients that don’t have a family practitioner and their only option is to go to the Emergency Department or not get care at all.”Which Inland President and CEO John Dalton says comes at a cost.”Typically what’ll happen is they’ll wait until they’re really good and sick and then they’ll go to the Emergency Department and instead of spending $49, they’ll spend several hundred dollars.”Dalton says the clinic stresses affordable care for everyone, with prices for services ranging from $14 to $69 even those without insurance. It’s designed to handle everyday aches and pains. “Not for emergencies, not for when you really need to see your primary care provider, but for the colds, the flue, the urinary tract infections, the immunizations, the school physicals and what have you.”The clinic – like the store – is open seven days a week, staffed by two nurse practitioners and two medical technicians.Store manager Janet Deans considers it another draw for customers. “It’s affordable, it’s convenient and hopefully then people will seek out health care that maybe they otherwise would not have.”which could end up saving them much more than money.Waterville’s health clinic is the fourth to open inside a Maine Walmart, along with Bangor, Brewer and Presque Isle.Another one is scheduled to open later this month in Palmyra.