August 14, 2009

McKenzie Medical Center Opens Specialty Clinic August 17th – Enhancing the Range of Medical Care Available to Our Community ‘Under One Roof’


McKenzie Medical Center’s new Specialty Clinic strives to enhance the access and quality of medical care available to residents of McKenzie and surrounding areas.

Georgetown University in Washington, DC’s Center on an Aging Society summarizes the nation’s health status as: ‘The rural population is consistently less well-off than the urban population with respect to health.’ Though the differences may not always be large, they are consistent in that the proportions of rural residents with chronic conditions are more numerous.

It is believed that the key reasons for this trait are due to fewer doctors and limited access to health care in rural areas.

We may be located in an area that some would classify as ‘rural’ but considering the available health care options accessible at our fingertips we achieve much higher standards than the stereotypical ‘rural’ area.

Demonstrating these higher standards McKenzie Medical Center is starting a new ‘Specialty Clinic’ that is due to be opened in McKenzie on August 18, 2009.

This clinic will encompass the services of McKenzie Medical Center’s Dr. Gary Fornera an OB-GYN with a specialty in high risk obstetrical care and minimally invasive ‘Band-Aide’ surgery that is fluent in Spanish and Beth Riddle, a nurse practitioner in her sixth year of practice.

Additionally, a recently recruited general surgeon - Dr. Chukwuogo - is due to start by the end of 2009. Furthermore, the services of cardiologists Dr. Korban and Dr. Ranga are also scheduled to be available from this specialty clinic by September. There are plans in place to also secure the services of a pulmonologist by September.

Dr. Volker Winkler, a managing partner of McKenzie Medical Center commented: “McKenzie has never had much medical coverage in the way of specialty care. McKenzie Medical Center’s primary care has continued to grow over the years. Providing specialty care is the next step in improving access and quality care for our patients. We now have the volume of patients in our practice that specialists are interested in coming to McKenzie.

“Also the McKenzie Hospital and CHS are now supportive of specialist recruitment. Together we hope to take a big step forward for medical care in McKenzie and the surrounding areas.

“The specialty clinic is currently located in a temporary building between the hospital and McKenzie Medical Center. Plans are for construction to commence this year on a permanent building.

“We are starting with the specialties of OB-GYN, surgery, cardiology and pulmonology. Plans are for increasing the coverage to fulltime pediatrics and orthopedics and also part-time coverage for other specialties.

“It is the goal of McKenzie Hospital and McKenzie Medical Center to provide ‘under one roof’ all the medical care that is appropriate for a rural/small town area.”