Charles Regional Urgent Care opened September 14

Charles Regional Urgent Care opened September 14

Charles Regional Urgent Care opened in downtown La Plata on September 14, bringing a new healthcare choice to Charles County patients.

The University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center opened the brand new urgent care facility at 500 Charles Street, directly across from its La Plata campus, to help meet the growing demand for emergency services. The 120-bed hospital has seen the number of annual visits to its emergency department grow dramatically from 35,000 in 2008 to 65,000 in 2014, according to Richard Ferraro, MD, FACEP, the EMA Regional Director who also serves as Medical Director of the new urgent care and the Charles Regional Medical Center ED.

"I am very pleased to work with the hospital on such an exciting new initiative, one that will enhance the care of patients in Charles County both in the new urgent care center and the emergency department," he says.

The intent is for Charles Regional Urgent Care to handle lower-acuity cases similar to what would normally be triaged to a fast track bed in an EMA-run ED. These include minor fractures, sprains, minor injuries, sore throats, cold, influenza and minor infections.

Ferraro says the hospital has been a crucial and supportive partner. The UM health system owns the building and equipment, while EMA is responsible for staffing and management. In addition to four providers, EMA has hired all of the medical assistants, radiologic technologists and office staff necessary to operate the practice.

“EMA has several lines of business – emergency, pediatrics, neonatology, ICU and hospitalist services,” Ferraro says. “We’re very excited to have the whole allied health staff under one umbrella at Charles Regional Urgent Care.”

The hospital has launched an extensive media campaign to educate the La Plata community about the new healthcare option and encourage lower acuity patients to take advantage of Urgent Care rather than the ED.

“There’s a buzz in the community,” Ferraro says. “They’re all really excited that an urgent care center is coming to a place where there really hasn’t been one.”