Gateway Urgent Care is opening a second Owensboro location on Nov. 1, and they are excited to offer medical services from an office located in the middle of the city. Officials also take pride in the customer-first approach to service, attributing that to continued growth.
The new office is located at 2804 Frederica Street, Suite 1 — near Wesleyan Park Plaza. The first Gateway Urgent Care was opened in Owensboro in January 2011 at 3245 Mt. Moriah Ave, Suite 10 (just off KY 54 near Walmart). There are five exam rooms in the Frederica Street office. They just expanded to eight at the KY 54 location.
“We really held off on this side of town because there’s plenty of care over here,” John McNulty, managing partner and co-owner, said of the addition. “But as a business venture, this corner became available. It’s one of the few corners left on Frederica Street, and it’s right in the middle of the ‘beehive.’ And so we thought you know what, when opportunity pokes its head up, let’s take a look at it.”
McNulty said they want to make an impression as soon as a patient walks through the door.
“Our front desks are always open (rather than being sealed off),” he said. “There’s no glass. The reason is our patients are also our customers.”
He said in some doctor’s offices the wait times can be hours, and there’s often a glass divider or door between staff and patients.
“Why is the doctor’s office the only place on the planet allowed to treat your customers rudely, and then (the patients) still come back? If that happened at Tropical Smoothie or at McDonald’s, you’d never go back,” he said. “So that’s why the counters are always open. We also play Christian music because we love the Lord and we want to treat everyone like a child of God.”
The nurse practitioners and the medical providers work out of offices located just beyond the front counter so they can be in constant contact with the patient/customer, McNulty said.
He said Gateway does a lot of in-house labs and testing, which he said is common in urgent cares. They do several types of injections such as flu and shingles vaccines. They offer COVID-19 testing but they don’t have the COVID-19 vaccine.
McNulty said the “most intriguing” testing they do is a PCR molecular analyzer. He said while many people ask if Gateway offers a PCR test — namely those who are taking a test to determine if they are positive for COVID-19 — most of them don’t know what it actually is.
“PCR is a polymerase chain reaction molecular DNA test,” he said. “Our test will test for up to 22 different pathogens and viruses, from COVID to all the pneumonias, all the flu, RSV, pertussis, all the way down to rhinovirus, which is which is the common cold.
He said that can save a trip to the pharmacy or emergency room because people can find out they don’t actually need to be treated with an antiviral.
McNulty said they can provide an array of services in their exam rooms. They can provide sutures and staples, as well as take care of many sprains, strains, and burns.
“We all know the medical necessity when something is more severe, and we have no problems sending people to the ER if we need to do that.
All of Gateway’s offices are equipped with hospital-grade digital X-rays. He said the X-rays are sent to a radiology group, and results come back in 20-30 minutes.
Gateway is open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. They are never open on Sundays “because everybody needs a break and that’s the Lord’s day,” he said. They are also closed on all major holidays.
In addition to the two Owensboro locations, there are three in Indiana. The company expanded to Newburgh in 2014, then added two offices in Evansville in recent years. The Evansville offices are called Mercy Urgent Care rather than Gateway.
McNulty said Gateway and Mercy are on full electronic medical records and all of their offices are linked, meaning a patient can show up at any office and their history will be readily and easily accessible in the system.