Keeping another promise made in its 2011 community master plan, Mercy Clinic broke ground today on its second primary care location in as many years. The $5.3 million building will be located at 3700 Cliff Drive in Fort Smith. It will have space for 8-10 doctors and should create an additional 35 jobs for nursing and support staff.
“Like many communities, Fort Smith faces a shortage of physicians,” said Dr. Cole Goodman, Mercy Clinic president. “By building new facilities, we are being proactive in attracting new doctors and creating more access to health care for our community.”
The 13,625 square foot building will have 24 exam rooms as well as onsite lab and imaging services. It will be wired with Mercy’s electronic health record and each room will have monitors on moveable arms so doctors can show patients their x-ray or lab results at the touch of a button. It will be modeled after the Mercy Clinic Dallas Street location that opened in October 2012.
“Patients there have already benefitted from having a 21st century medical clinic fully integrated with today’s technology,” said Dr. Sean Baker, Mercy Clinic primary care medical director. “The clinic design allows us to deliver more efficient and convenient care for our patients.”
The clinic will be located on a previously undeveloped plot of land across the street from the entrance to ABF headquarters. Instead of clear-cutting the lot, Mercy engaged a certified arborist and tree preservation specialist to look at the existing trees on the land, determine how healthy they are and tell the construction team how to protect them.
“Mercy is dedicated to maintaining as many of the natural surroundings as possible,” said Larry Young, senior construction project manager. “The wooded location should make for a very relaxing setting for patients and employees.”
In keeping with its goal to use as much local labor as possible on capital projects, Mercy anticipates that 80% or more of the subcontractors used for the project will be from this area. The clinic is expected to open for business on August 1, 2014.