Expansion underway at Roark Family Health

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Doctor: ‘I love our location, and I didn’t want to move’

Driving along Main street, people can see the construction at the Roark Family Health and Medical Spa, with workers adding on 3,000 square feet to the building to accommodate more space for new doctors and nursing staff that Dr. Lisa Roark has hired.

Roark, owner of Roark Family Health and Medical Spa, said the added square footage will double the size of the clinic.

“We now have three doctors and new nurses, and we were just out of room,” she said. “I love our location, and I didn’t want to move.”

Roark said she is also adding a storm shelter to the building.

“We expected it to be finished about four months ago, but with the wet spring and summer, it should be finished by the end of the year.”

Roark said there will also be more parking when the project is completed.

She said she wanted a storm shelter because Cassville has had a tornado warning every year for the last four years the clinic has been there.

“There really isn’t somewhere [for us] to go, and I love the idea of having a storm shelter available for myself, my staff and patients and also the community.”

Roark said there are a lot of small rental houses in the area, and now, those residents will have somewhere close to go.

“We were already building into the hillside,” she said. “I thought we might as well make a storm shelter.”

Roark said the biggest need for the expansion is that she has hired four new people in the last month.

“We have one new doctor, two new nursing staff members and a new massage therapist,” she said. “The biggest push for hiring more staff was that we added a medical marijuana certification.”

Roark said as private doctors started announcing that they were going to do the certification, most of them were $250-$350, which she said was ridiculous because insurance does not cover that, so patients are paying that out of pocket.

“First, I spoke with the Department of Health to confirm that I could do telehealth appointments,” she said. “They said I could do that, so I announced on social media that we would do telehealth appointments for anyone in Missouri for $100, which is what I charge for a DOT physical.

“I decided that a physical is a physical rather it is to certify that they qualify for medical marijuana or that they can drive for the DOT.”

Roark said she didn’t inflate the price at all, and that made some physicians not so happy.

“That’s because they could either bring their costs down and match mine, or their patients would go elsewhere,” she said. “Very quickly, those prices started dropping, and now, there are at least two other physicians in Missouri that set their price at $100.”

Roark said a couple of them are doing it via telehealth, as well.

“We had so much interest in that, so I hired another doctor,” she said. “We have about 50 patients a day registering online that are wanting to schedule.”

Roark said she is currently seeing patients for medical marijuana certifications.

“They best way is for them to go on the website, fill out the forms and I will review the forms and make sure that they actually qualify so they aren’t wasting their time,” she said. “If they qualify the nurses contact them and schedule them in.”

Roark said the clinic is now doing extra evening hours and Saturday hours to help to accommodate those patients.

“Another thing that has been a big thing is that we are doing a lot more urgent care,” she said. “A lot of people are realizing that we offer urgent care, and I think adding our x-ray machine last year was a part of that.”

Roark said urgent care is also now offered on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Now, we don’t have to send our patients over to another imaging center that is going to be more expensive.”

Roark said X-rays are inexpensive for her clinic, and costs to the patients are about the third of the price of other places.

“We are also getting a lot of people who are interested in the platelet-rich plasma (PRP) joint injections,” she said. “It is kind of like a stem cell treatment, except we take their blood and inject it back into a joint that causes pain.”

Roark said the price for that at her clinic is $150, and it can cost more than $600 in other places.

“I just want people to know that we are not putting a dispensary in the clinic,” she said. “I am not just a cannabis doctor. I see children, and I don’t want my patients to have to worry about that.”

Roark said she has had people ask about the plants in her front garden.

“It is not a cannabis plant, it is an okra plant,” she said.

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