Officials at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital are excited to announce that a new walk-in care service will open in Caribou on Monday, Feb. 1. The service will offer non-emergency care to patients daily from noon to 8 p.m. with no appointment needed.

“We have been offering walk-in care in Presque Isle for a number of years now and found it to be a vital resource for people to better access care when they need it,” says Jay Reynolds, MD, senior physician executive at the hospital. “Walk-In Care can be a more convenient, more affordable option than a trip to the emergency room when an illness or injury happens outside of office hours or if you do not have a primary care provider.”

Primary care is the first choice for regular healthcare needs, since it builds a relationship between the patient and provider, and emergency care is certainly the best choice for serious illness or injury, according to Reynolds. However, there is a gap between these two vital services. That is where walk-in care comes in.

A patient may not be able to get into their primary care provider in a time frame that works for them, either because there are no open appointments or because a time that is available is not compatible with the patient’s schedule. A trip to the emergency room can be time consuming and more expensive, often making it a poor option for something simple like an ear infection.

“Walk-in care is just that…people are able to walk in for the care they need with no appointment, at the time that is convenient for them. We welcome people of all ages,” explains Reynolds.

To meet the need for such a service in the Caribou area as well, the hospital has added walk-in care at its Northern Light Health Center in Caribou, located at 118 Bennett Drive. Once it opens on Feb. 1, the site will be open daily from 12 noon to 8 p.m. It will only be closed on the days of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Like the Presque Isle clinic, walk-in care in Caribou will be open to all patients, regardless of who their primary care provider is. It will be staffed by providers who work in the Presque Isle clinic as well as in the emergency department of AR Gould Hospital.