Steward’s New Austintown Site Adds Specialty Care to Continuum

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – Steward Medical Group’s newest expansion in Austintown was born of a lifelong friendship and a passion for the community.

Growing up, Dr. James Shina and Dr. Christopher Raymond were family friends growing up in Austintown. After the two got their degrees and returned home – Shina as a primary care physician and Raymond as the founder of his own chiropractic clinic – they worked together as team doctors with Austintown’s school sports teams. And now, the two share an office that they partnered to build.

The building, 1440 S. Canfield-Niles Road, sits next door to another building with Steward offices and just down the road from Steward’s urgent care and medical pavilion. The new site was Raymond’s idea, but Shina quickly bought in.

“Next door, we were expanding with some new partners coming on board. We were running out of space. Dr. Raymond told me he was getting out of his space in Weston Center and we brainstormed,” Shina said Monday at a ribbon cutting for the office. “The house that was here went up for sale and then the pieces started falling into place.”

The office houses Steward Primary Care, represented by Shina, Dr. Anthony Russo and nurse practitioner Andria Simmons, Steward Multispecialty Care – urologist Dr. Saad Hatahet, gastroenterologist Dr. Meredythe McNally and general surgeons Drs. Mboutidem Etokakpan and Penelope Maskburn – and Raymond Chiropractic. 

Uniting those methods of care under one roof, Shina said, improves access for patients in a community that has traditionally been short on specialty care. 

The new building at 1440 S. Canfield-Niles Road houses Steward Primary Care, Steward Multispecialty Care and Raymond Chiropractic.

“There’s lots of primary care, but when something comes up that needs to be addressed by a specialist, there aren’t many people around,” he said. “Being a primary care physician, there are things I can handle and there are things I can’t handle. It’s our job to figure that out. … If someone needs a colonoscopy cancer screening, I’ll ask Dr. McNally, our gastroenterologist, to do it for me. Primary care is the front door, but sometimes there are different rooms we need our patients to go into.”

It was the need for both kinds of care – primary and specialty – that drew Steward to opening the new office, said Krista McFadden, president of Trumbull Regional Medical Center. In recent years, health-care has moved to delivering care where patients are, rather than relying on them to come to a hospital, she said. As such, Steward has looked at “where the pockets of people are and where the pockets of need are. You’re trying to intersect those two areas.

“Austintown is an important market for Steward and it’s a difficult market just because of where it stands in relation to the hospital,” she continued. “The more we can care for the community here – get them their appointments and specialist care – the better it will be in the long run.”

Putting the office where it is, within a short distance of both other Steward primary care physicians and the urgent care center, allows the continuum of Steward’s services to be available for patients at a moment’s notice.

“Everyone wants stuff in real time. When someone takes the time out of their schedule to see a primary care physician – say it’s stomach pain – they don’t want to reschedule a time to come back in two or three days,” says Brian Dinger, Steward’s senior practice director for operations. “We can get them a same-day appointment because the doctor is next door. A patient can present with symptoms, meet with the doctor and get diagnosed all in the same day.”

And that, Raymond says, is something that benefits the community both he and Shina grew up in and serve today.

“The goal was, from the standpoint of the group that built it, was to have everything in a single, central location. We’re able to refer patients over and ask questions,” the chiropractor says. “Especially in what I do, I need a primary care doctor or a GI specialist or a surgeon. Having them in the same office whenever I have questions is beautiful.”

Pictured: Cutting the ribbon on the new building are Raymond Chiropractic owner Dr. Christopher Raymond, Trumbull Regional Medical Center chief medical officer Dr.Justin Mikula, Trumbull Regional Medical Center President Krista McFadden, Dr. James Shina, Steward senior practice director for operations Brian Dinger and cardiologist Dr. Michael Burley.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.