Independent medical clinic opens in Cassville

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Urgent care in a general family practice setting will be the primary focus of a new medical clinic opening in Cassville on Monday, Dec. 5.

The Heritage Medical Clinic, located at 101-1 Main Street in Cassville, is independently owned by Dr. Mark Matthews, D.O., and his wife, Angela. The clinic, which features six large patient rooms and a full lab and X-ray, welcomes walk-in patients while also accepting appointments.

"We will be happy to take appointments throughout the day, but walk-ins are encouraged," said Dr. Matthews.

"Our goal is to keep wait times down and get people seen quickly," added Matthews.

The new clinic is housed in a new shopping center built by D. Carr Investments and located across the street from Fastrip convenience store. Dr. Matthews was able to design the 3,000-square-foot office space to meet the specific needs of a medical clinic.

A professional staff will help Dr. Matthews keep his new clinic running smoothly and efficiently.

Staff members include: Mary Denton, office manager; Debbie Parks, LPN; Darci Walker, MA; and Trish McCracken, RMA. The clinic will also be supported by two family nurse practitioners, Julie Pendergrass and Julie Stapp, who will initially work on a part-time basis.

The idea for opening an independent medical clinic came to Dr. Matthews last March.

"Having worked here and living in Cassville, I wanted to get back to Cassville," said Matthews, who has spent the last several years working in Joplin. He worked in the emergency room at St. John's Medical Center in Joplin, and for the last year, worked at Express Care in Joplin.

"In talking with my former patients and residents of the city, I felt there was a need for another family practice here," said Matthews. "Having experienced urgent care in Joplin, I also thought there might be a need for that service here."

Dr. Matthews defines urgent care as a medical condition that needs to be seen in a timely manner but is not an emergency.

"Our goal is to address the patient's medical needs in a timely manner," Matthews said.

The clinic will accept Medicare and Medicaid patients.

"We'll be seeing all commercial insurance but not taking assignment," said Denton, the clinic's office manager. "Patients will pay at the time of service and we'll file with their insurance company as a courtesy. Their insurance company will contact them regarding pay-ment."

Denton also added that the clinic will offer a substantial discount for cash-paying patients.

Heritage Medical Clinic will be the first clinic in the area to rely on electronic medical records.

"We hope this speeds the process up and makes a more readable chart," said Dr. Matthews. "This paperless system will also make us compliant with what the state is going to require for medical records in the future."

Matthews will begin seeing patients on Monday and is excited to be back practicing in Cassville.

He and his wife, Angela, have two children, T.J., age 10, and Marissa, age 4. The couple have lived in Cassville since 1998.

Dr. Matthews received his medical training at the College of Osteopathic Medicine at the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City. The last two years of his family practice residency were completed at St. Francis Hospital in Topeka, Kan.

Heritage Medical Clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 846-CASS.

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