QuickMed Opens Warren Location

WARREN, Ohio – Lena Esmail was working in a local hospital when she noticed an increase in the number of patients coming to the emergency room for nonemergency needs.

In response, she started QuickMed Urgent Care in 2019 and the company quickly grew. On Wednesday, she opened a location at 2005 Elm Road in Warren, the company’s eighth.

The other QuickMed sites are in Akron, Austintown, Columbiana, Cortland, Medina, Strongsville and the original location in Liberty.

Esmail, who is a nurse practitioner, is the CEO of QuickMed. She said she initially started her company as a way to meet the growing need for health care in the community.

“A lot of it has been identifying need and the other part is identifying opportunity,” Esmail said.

By the time COVID hit in 2020, Esmail said she already had three locations.

The idea for her company started when Esmail noticed that access to care was a problem in the area.

“I was working in the ER of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital when Northside [Hospital] closed and I saw the influx of patients going into the emergency department that didn’t need emergency care,” she said. “For me, that told a very loud story – that we have a lot of patients that need access to care.”

She decided to look into it further.

“What we found is that there was a problem with accessibility, not just for those in rural and urban communities, but for folks in general because of the consolidation of hospital systems,” she said.

As a result, Esmail said they began opening urgent cares in areas they knew would most benefit from it. She said each urgent care generally costs around $500,000 to $1 million and the average time from finding a location to project completion is generally under six months.

After recently purchasing the former Men’s Warehouse building at 7310 Market St., Boardman, Esmail said she may have found the location for the final QuickMed in the Mahoning Valley.

“Though I knew there was a need based on the closing of Northside [Hospital] – that’s why we opened in Liberty – COVID really shed light on the need of accessibility of walk-in care,” she said. “That helped us identify pockets of need a little better than if we had done our own research.”

Going to an ER costs a patient about three times as much as an urgent care facility, she said. Another major benefit is faster response time for seeing patients.

“It leads to better patient results,” Esmail said.

Pediatrics has also become a growing part of the work at QuickMed. Aside from its school-based clinics, QuickMed is incorporating pediatrics into its main locations.

“We want to be able to have true pediatrician services after hours and on weekends for children who can’t get access to care in the summer and access to care on the weekends,” Esmail said.

The Warren location is the second QuickMed with pediatric services. Esmail added Dr. Pete Kondolios as pediatric medical director this year. Kondolios has his 30 years of expertise in outpatient and hospital settings and understands the community’s needs, Esmail said.

Kondolios said bringing pediatrics to urgent care is important.

“Pediatrics is probably about 20% of healthcare,” he said. “We offer school physicals and sports physicals for those who can’t schedule with their primary care position. If they don’t have a primary care physician, we try to get them involved with a primary care practitioner.”

Another essential role has been COVID testing and vaccines, Kondolios said. Many offices that don’t want to see COVID patients, so QUICKmed is there for them, he said.

“Working with these children and young adults has been very uplifting,” Kondolios said.

Kelly Reinhart, office manger and staff x-ray technician, said she has worked with Esmail in urgent care for a long time. After 20 years of urgent care experience, she joined the QuickMed team.

“We are just kind of a little step up from a doctor’s office,” Reinhart said. “Everything is always available. It is always walk-in and you don’t need an appointment.”

One big difference from a typical ER that Reinhart has noticed is the time they are able to spend with patients.

“I think urgent care is growing a lot,” she said. “I know many years ago not many people knew what urgent care was but there are so many more people not having that primary care doctor and because of COVID, ERs were being overwhelmed. We definitely have taken some of the strain off of that.”

Pictured from left: Frank Fuda, Trumbull County Commissioner; Kelly Reinhart, Office Manager and Staff X-ray Specialist; Katherine Cruickshank, Physician Assistant; Lena Esmail, QuickMed Owner and CEO; Heather Smallsreed, Medical Reception; Dr. Pete Kondolios, medical doctor specializing in pediatrics

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.