QuickMed Urgent Care Opens 10th Location
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Lena Esmail cut the ribbon to what she said she believes is the “most impactful” QuickMed location Wednesday afternoon.
The celebration marked the opening of the 10th QuickMed Urgent Care facility.
Esmail, CEO of QuickMed and a nurse practitioner, said of all of the locations she has opened over the past four years, this one at 2915 Glenwood Ave. is extra significant.
After visiting with school districts and realizing need-based care could be sustainable if done correctly, Esmail decided to open an additional urgent care within the city limits amid the “health care desert.”
“For the community, we talk about our Valley and building in Youngstown,” she said. “We look at areas of health care and equity. When we look at Youngstown in general, we have the third highest population of children that are in poverty. What we know is poverty has a correlation with bad health.”
One major goal for Esmail has been to tackle the issue of access – one main barrier for children in poverty.
“One thing we knew we could do to curve equity and care is to bring care to those who need it,” she said. “That’s why we decided to start here in the south side of Youngstown – knowing the demographic, the population and the need-based care.”
Each facility averages between seven and 10 new employees, Esmail said.
Just like all of the other stand-alone QuickMed locations, services available include IV fluid therapy, X-rays, laceration repair, minor to moderate injury and illnesses, lab work and more. Esmail said the urgent care covers most issues besides emergencies requiring immediate medical attention.
“What we would like to do is to get this location to sustainability through partnerships within the community, like the people who live here, occupational health through the businesses that are local, and through other private and public entities – and then look at the lay of the land at that point and decide where another urgent care in the city limits would be most beneficial.”
Another big focus for Esmail is YouCare school clinics. She said four have already been placed within the Youngstown City School District. Since then it has expanded to Crestview Elementary School, Trumbull Career & Technical Center, a few in the Cleveland area and a couple upcoming locations in Liberty School District and Salem School District.
“What we would really like to do is look for other community partners that can help us in tandem go into the school district and have a stand-alone location near there that can service the families after-hours and on weekends,” Esmail said.
The 10 school-based clinics and 10 urgent care facilities makes “20 touch points,” she added.
Esmail said she continues to have a diverse and majority female staff.
“It’s nice to reflect and look back and see we developed a powerhouse of women in our administration to help pioneer in equity and health care,” she said.
Another goal of QuickMed is to have the social model in equity in care match a business model of sustainability, Esmail said.
“You get to the point where you strategically place urgent cares for a business that wants to be successful,” she said. “You do it for sustainability and the ability to bring in revenue. At some point, we met a crossroads of need versus profitability, and deciding to make your business model drive your social model or the opposite, which is having your social model drive your business model.”
When Esmail first started QuickMed, she said she thought she would have one location in her hometown of Liberty and that would be it.
“Urgent cares are the gatekeepers of medicine anymore,” she said. “People don’t have primary care or they can’t get into their primary care, and their alternative is ER. We become the gatekeeper, and when you look at areas of need, it is not just areas that are low socioeconomic status, it can be rural areas, it can be areas of high population and not enough access points.”
“I’m a problem solver by nature,” Esmail said. “I don’t think I’ll ever get to a point where I say there are enough urgent cares or we have solved our health care and equity problems across the state.”
Esmail said she does not plan on stopping until she feels there is no more good that can be done.
“I think we have a long way to go,” she said.
While Esmail said she is always open to new opportunities, her focal point will remain to “spread a blanket across” northeastern Ohio and the Mahoning Valley first.
“I think that for now, we have a lot of ground to cover in northeastern Ohio,” Esmail said. “I am a firm believer that if you can’t help the area that you are from, you can’t help anywhere.”
The facility is currently open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.For more information, visit quickmedclinic.com or call 330 918 6400.
Pictured at top: A ribbon-cutting Wednesday celebrated the opening of the new QuickMed Urgent Care in Youngstown.
Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.