Posted 3/08/16 (Tue)
By Kevin Killough
The Northland Health Clinic held an open house on Wednesday to commemorate its official opening. The staff said the response from the community was positive.
“There’s been a lot of excitement from the community,” said Kelli Ruff, Northland compliance officer.
Northland CEO Patrick Butler said he was very pleased with the turnout.
“We’ve had a lot of support for this,” he said.
Ekta Rathee, the nurse practitioner at the facility, said she has a focus on rural healthcare.
“I’m very passionate about preventing diseases and promoting health,” she said.
Rathee came to Ray from Lake Mary, Fla. It’s a change from the urban life she knew, but she said she’s enjoying her life here.
“It’s a different experience, but I believe in change. I love change,” she said.
As is the case with any medical facility in the area, staffing all its open positions is a challenge. The clinic is still looking to hire people for its dental, behavioral health, and x-ray services.
“It might take a little bit of time,” said Kelly Murray, Northland human resources.
In the meantime, Northland gave tours of the empty dental bays to show the services that are to come.
“We don’t know when for sure, but we’ll get it going as soon as we can,” Northland CFO Farrah Faulkner told the tour goers.
The public also toured three exam rooms, a reception area, and doctor’s offices.
“It’s just so nice to have this here,” said Ray resident Laurie Kupper.
Mark Cahoon, owner of Ray Tire and Auto, also said the facility’s convenience is a big positive for Ray.
“I couldn’t be happier for them being here,” Cahoon said.
Jill Perdue, a receptionist at the clinic, helped give tours at the event and said the response from people was good.
“Everyone is very impressed with what we have here and how the clinic looks,” Perdue said.
The expansion of services comes at a time when growth has stopped and many people have left the area. Butler said this shouldn’t be a problem for the future of the clinic, and the demand for its services are still strong.
“We tried to anticipate that when we were doing the numbers,” he said.
The clinic is located in the Ray Mall and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours to 6:30 p.m. on Mondays. The clinic closes at 3:30 p.m. on Fridays.