Dr. John Zimmerman

Dr. John Zimmerman

NEW LEXINGTON — According to Genesis Healthcare Systems, the healthcare company has just opened a new walk-in facility located in the Village of New Lexington. The FirstCare location is at 401 Lincoln Park Drive, Suite B.

According to Genesis Healthcare System, the new walk-in clinic is a primary care facility where patients can be seen for a variety of minor illnesses and injuries which do not require emergency care.

Locals do not need to make an appointment before making a visit. The clinic will be open Monday through Friday from noon to 8 p.m. as well as Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon.

According to Medical Director of Genesis FirstCare and Ambulatory Program John Zimmerman, M.D., Genesis is “pleased” to further its services in Perry County. With emergency services in the Village of Somerset along with multiple primary practices throughout the county, he hopes the addition will benefit the community.

Due to the current public health climate in Ohio, if potential patients are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they should call the Genesis COVID-19 Virtual Screening Telemedicine Clinic by dialing 740-297-8610 prior to visiting the FirstCare clinic.

According to Dr. Zimmerman, all of Genesis’ facilities including main campuses, other satellite facilities and Genesis Medical Group individual practices are enforcing social distancing standards. He added that all guidelines set by the Ohio Department of Health as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are being followed.

“People in the lobby are [being] kept separated,” Zimmerman told The Perry County Tribune. “People have their temperature taken upon entry into any of our facilities and they have verbal questions for screening.”

The director added that all those who visit any of Genesis’ facilities are expected and required to wear facial coverings.

“That is important for everybody,” Zimmerman commented.

The new walk-in clinic is also offering COVID-19 outpatient testing for community members. According to the director, if a patient calls their family practice doctor and has an order for a test, if they come to the New Lexington clinic, they can be tested.

“Usually, what we try to do in those cases is actually not have to have people come inside, but we have staff able to go out to their car and do their swab outside,” Zimmerman explained. “Oftentimes we will collect their cell phone information and have them call in advance for when they’re going to come in for that kind of thing.”

The new walk-in clinic has four exam rooms dedicated to FirstCare patients along with a registration area and a walk-in area. The clinic is located on one side of the building located on Lincoln Park Drive and there are a half dozen primary care rooms at the other end of the building.

There will be one nurse, one medical provider and a registrar present every day the clinic is open. The director commented that if volume increases in the future, Genesis will address the workforce.

For locals in the community of New Lexington, services are not that far away as the clinic hopes to provide more benefits to the area.

“This is part of Genesis’ commitment to expand services in Perry County,” Zimmerman stated. “Several years ago, we built the Perry County Medical Center and opened the new [emergency department] down there because there wasn’t any emergent service down there.”

The new walk-in clinic expands the spectrum of services the organization has to offer so that locals can now have the option to travel to a walk-in setting rather than the emergency department. Residents do not have to schedule appointments prior.

“We urge people to maintain their relationships with their primary care doctor and call whenever they have a need,” Zimmerman stated. “Sometimes practices have a day off or they are overwhelmed or they may be closed or limited and this provides an opportunity for the citizens of Perry County.”

The director added that the location is suitable for all those who reside within the county rather than having it in the same area as the emergency hospital.

Staff at the FirstCare clinic in New Lexington can treat minor illnesses and injuries such as colds, earaches, minor cuts and lacerations, rashes, sprains and strains and other related healthcare needs.

After just four days of operation, Dr. Zimmerman commented that volume has been low; however, steadily increasing.

“I expect over time that volumes will increase our target — we would be happy to see 30 to 40 people a day in that timeframe at that location,” Zimmerman said. “As we move forward in time, we plan to be able to offer occupational health services to local businesses and employees.”

If locals are in need of more complex conditions which could involve abdominal pain, pregnancy issues, chest pain, chronic pain and dizziness, the walk-in clinic staff may refer patients to the Genesis Emergency Department in the Village of Somerset.

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