Black medical practitioners are pushing the barriers of medicine and initiating groundbreaking projects. In what is going to be the first Urgent Care facility owned by Blacks on the Southside of Chicago’s Hyde Park, a group of Black doctors have led the way.
According to the Chicago Crusader, a group of African American medical professionals joined forces to open up Chicago’s only Black-owned urgent care facility.
Premier Health Urgent Care will provide affordable healthcare to a population in desperate need with a focus on providing quality service that is quick, convenient and compassionate.
This is a collaborative effort between Reuben C. Rutland, MD, Airron Richardson, MD, Michael A. McGee, MD, and former NFL player Dr. Gregory Primus.
Aware of the lack of access to adequate health services, they were determined to cultivate a space where individuals can receive proper care and support. The center goes beyond providing urgent care, it has mental health and wellness services as well.
“We are happy to open an urgent care in Hyde Park because the community needs it. I see so many urban professionals who either delay or go without care because of time constraints,” said Dr. Reuben C. Rutland, a General Surgery Specialist.
“No one has 8 hours to wait in the emergency department for a minor illness or the flexibility to wait 3 weeks because their primary care doctor is booked solid. We are here to help fill that gap.”
After his football career ended, Primus became the first Black person trained in orthopedic surgery at the University of Chicago.
Rutland made it clear that the Urgent Care was not trying to replace any other form of healthcare but sought to fill the gap in the middle.
“We are not in competition with the doctors offices or the emergency department,” Dr. Rutland said.
Urgent care centers have become wildly popular in cities across the country for providing quick, same-day treatment without the lengthy waits.
“Once a patient is seen, they are typically treated in less than an hour, making Premier’s walk-in clinic an ideal provider of the immediate care when it’s needed the most,” the founders said in a press release.
“Premier accepts many major types of insurance and offers services at a fraction of the cost of hospital-affiliated urgent care or emergency rooms.”
The center’s founders said they will be able to treat a variety of illnesses and ailments. They also plan to donate a cut of the profits to the Project Outreach and Prevention (POP) organization, which they said, “aims to prevent youth violence in surrounding neighborhoods by providing resources, services and education to assist teens in making better life-long choices.”
Dr. McGee told Chicago’s Fox 32 that it was difficult and distressing to deal with injuries from shootings, which are common in some parts of the Southside.
“When you have a kid come in who is 11 or 10 and they’ve been shot, and you can’t do anything about it, and you have to tell their parents and look them in the eye and say hey, I’m sorry, your child is dead. Their parents grab me and tell me to bring them back,” he said in an interview with the news station.
Over the last year, dozens of black-owned businesses have sprung up across the Southside, including Peach’s Currency Exchange Cafe, Justice of the Pies and Brown Sugar Bakery.