Encouraging news on urgent care

Published 8:24 pm Saturday, May 26, 2012

As expected, there was a bit of an uproar in early February when Vidant Health officials announced plans to close Inner Banks Urgent Care and reassign the staff to other medical practices affiliated with Vidant Medical Group. Many Beaufort County residents depend upon Dr. Elisabeth Cook for their health care needs and she is known for putting patient care over profits.

In fact, shortly after the decision was announced, Cook compiled a list of necessities that she hoped Vidant would address prior to the change.

Knowing her reputation for putting patients first, it was encouraging news when Cook expressed support this week for the pending move (expected to occur in early August) and offered her reassurance that she would continue to provide urgent care to all patients.

“I will be at (Vidant) Internal Medicine, and I will be available to all comers every business day,” she said. “It will be the same as now, only a different building.”

Patients should applaud other elements of the patient-centered medical home, including lower co-payments (if required), electronic medical records and more accessibility. Nurse practitioner Janet Cutler will provide urgent care at Vidant Women’s Care (formerly Washington Women’s Care) while nurse practitioner Anita Woolard sees urgent care patients at Vidant Family Medicine-Washington (formerly Washington Family Medicine).

“Our goal is to provide same-day care to everyone in the county who needs it,” said Clyde Brooks, vice president of medical affairs for Vidant Medical Group.

That’s a positive diagnosis for both patients and medical providers.