May 24, 2018
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Presque Isle health care center, mall to open

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Children in central Aroostook County will be the first to receive treatment at a more modern, spacious health care facility when North Street Healthcare opens on Tuesday.

Earlier this year, The Aroostook Medical Center began construction on North Street Healthcare, the new family health care center and medical mall.

Hospital officials announced Friday that on June 2, Aroostook Pediatrics will be the first office to open at the health care mall.

Right now, TAMC has Aroostook Pediatrics offices in Presque Isle and Caribou, but the new mall will combine both offices in one space.

Hospital officials outlined their plan for the North Street site last year after they worked with an engineering and architectural firm to assess TAMC’s ability to meet the needs of the community.

Hospital officials said planners found a growing need for TAMC to provide outpatient services. The hospital’s board then approved a plan to open the outpatient services center in the North Street Plaza in Presque Isle. The facility is in the building formerly occupied by Smythe’s IGA Plus.

Officials said benefits of the new outpatient services center would include simplified scheduling, more convenient parking and the availability of walk-in care during evening and weekend hours.

The hospital’s patient billing department, County Dialysis Center, and County Physical Therapy occupy the plaza and will remain in their current spaces. Pat’s Pizza, a longtime tenant at North Street, also will remain.

Dave Peterson, the hospital’s president and chief executive officer, said Friday afternoon that the new facility will be “convenient, comfortable and very accessible.”

“With this new facility, people can avoid having to come to the hospital and they can go to a facility that is quicker, less expensive and is open for extended hours,” he said.

A new lab draw station will join the pediatrics office at North Street on June 9. Two medical practices, Aroostook Family Practice and Presque Isle Health Center, will join to form Family Practice and Internal Medicine at North Street. That will open in mid-June.

A walk-in care clinic will join the other services at North Street on July 27. The new service will provide easy access to medical care for patients who would otherwise use the emergency room for minor medical issues. No appointment will be necessary.

“Walk-in care will be a good choice for people who do not have a medical provider or who are not able to see their doctor,” said Peterson. “Patients will have an opportunity to be connected with a primary care provider in the same building at the end of their visit. Primary care providers are the best choice for ongoing, routine medical care because they know more about a patient’s medical history and can monitor health problems on a regular basis.”

Peterson said Friday that no jobs would be lost as a result of the changes, adding that more people eventually will be hired to staff the mall as the patient load grows.

An open house with community tours will be offered this summer once all of the medical practices at the facility are open.

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