The UnityPoint Health Marshalltown Family Medicine Clinic hosted a ribbon cutting and open house on Tuesday evening to celebrate the newly remodeled building and the growing practice.
The clinic was originally going to move from the downtown hospital into the north wing of the new hospital across from Marshalltown Community College, but to accommodate the increasing number of patients and providers, they ended up moving into a different building located at 303 Nicholas Drive back in April.
Though the clinic has been in the new location for nearly six months, its leaders opted to wait until after some cosmetic improvements were made to the building to host the open house. Many UnityPoint Clinic staff members and administrators attended the event, and several Marshalltown residents came out to see what it was all about.
Staff members were enthusiastic about the growth the new clinic allows and what that means for the Marshalltown community.
“I think it’s been a long time coming, but we’re really excited to have the grand opening today,” Regional Medical Director Dr. Dan Glascock said. “I feel if we would have been at the hospital site, we would have basically taken up all the space right from the very beginning and wouldn’t have room to grow. So this new location here gives us room to continue to expand, because we feel that there’s definitely a growth opportunity here in Marshalltown to better serve the patients and the community.”
In the last several months alone, Glascock said the clinic has been seeing new patients, and they’re already seeing growth in the practice. In addition to new patients, it is also bringing in new providers.
Dr. Thai Nguyen, the clinic’s first full time physician, is one of the most recent additions to the team, but another physician assistant, India Chapman, will also be joining the clinic in January 2023. Regional Vice President of Clinic Operations Carolyn Barko said they are currently seeking a second physician as well.
“We would have beautiful space in the new hospital, along with the rest of that whole beautiful facility there, but it was originally anticipated for a smaller footprint. So while we would have had great space, it wouldn’t have allowed us for additional provider growth,” Barko said. “There’s been a focus on growth for this clinic in particular, to be able to add more primary care providers to our Marshalltown FM clinic, and so being able to be in this space allows us the opportunity to continue to do that.”
Nguyen specializes in rural family medicine and was a respiratory therapist for over 12 years. Though he’s only been seeing patients for about five weeks, he feels the facility is a good fit for the clinic.
“It’s great. I mean, it’s a little separate from the brand-new hospital, of course, but what they did just for the growth and the need of the community, it shows that you know, even what we anticipated with the new expansion in the hospital, it quickly showed that we actually needed a bigger space,” Nguyen said. “The space here fills that need, and hopefully we can stay here long enough where we don’t outgrow this facility and end up needing more, but it just depends on what we need around the area.”
Nguyen is looking forward to seeing what he and the rest of the clinic can do for the community in the coming months, and he’s excited to put his training in rural medicine to good use in Marshalltown.
UnityPoint Health Hospital Administrator Shari King also attended the open house, and the growth of family medicine in Marshalltown is something she is excited to see.
“Having a really robust family medicine practice drives so much other care. You know, it’s really a starting point for a lot of our patients and so, the success of this clinic is really important to us and I’m really pleased that they could be here which is bigger and better suited for the growth that we’re hoping we can achieve at this clinic,” King said.
King said family medicine is often many people’s first step in healthcare, so having a growing clinic to fulfill their needs is essential for maintaining a happy and healthy community. In addition, having multiple providers is important so they can get people in as soon as possible.
“Most patients start their health care journey usually at a family medicine clinic or with a primary care provider,” King said. “Building that relationship and getting in and getting your regular physical, your wellness exams. Making sure that your screenings are getting done in a timely manner is important so that we can make sure we’re maintaining health, rather than trying to solve a crisis later. Family medicine is usually the first line of defense in that process.”
The open house ran from 5 to 6:30 p.m., and after the ribbon cutting and a few words from clinic staff, attendees had the opportunity to take a self-guided tour around the clinic, chat with staff and graze on the available snacks.
Contact Susanna Meyer at 641-753-6611 or