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Release: Immediate

North Liberty Family Care Center to celebrate grand opening

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Family Care Center, a new primary care health center serving the North Liberty area, will celebrate its grand opening with an open house from 2-4 p.m Sunday, Aug. 17.

Free health screenings and tours will be given to guests. Clowns, balloons, an inflatable bouncing Starwalk and refreshments will be among the family-oriented festivities at the center, located at 3 Lions Drive, near the Quail Creek Golf Course on Highway 965. Door prizes ranging from restaurant gift certificates to a miniature football helmet autographed by former Hawkeye football star Marv Cook will be awarded.

"We've got something for just about everyone," says Terry Protextor, executive director of University of Iowa Community Medical Services Inc. (UICMS).

UICMS, which manages the center, is a wholly-owned, for-profit subsidiary of the UI Health System, a non-profit entity formed by the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the UI College of Medicine.

The center's 13-member staff includes two family practitioners, Drs. Britt Marcussen and Anne Sullivan; an obstetrician-gynecologist, Dr. Kyra Geraghty; and a pediatrician, Dr. Elizabeth Ehrhardt. All four received training at the UI College of Medicine or have other connections to Iowa.

"I'm thrilled to be returning to Iowa," says Sullivan, a 1986 College of Medicine graduate who has been in private practice in Torrance, Calif., since 1989. "It's a chance to give something back to the community that gave me a lot during my training days."

Marcussen, a 1994 graduate of the College of Medicine, spent 11 years in the North Liberty-Iowa City area and recently completed his residency training in LaCrosse, Wis. Marcussen notes that the Family Care Center, with its blend of specialists in family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics, will provide state-of-the-art primary care for North Liberty and surrounding communities.

"Promoting and maintaining the health of people in the community will be one of our primary goals," he says.

Geraghty, a 1991 College of Medicine graduate who grew up on a farm near Williamsburg, Iowa, has been in private practice in Madison, Wis., the past two years. She notes that patient education will be an important component of the center. "This is a patient-friendly clinic, and education will certainly be a component of the care we provide," she states. "The new building includes a community room for that purpose."

Dr. Ehrhardt, a University of Wisconsin Medical School graduate who recently completed her residency at the UI, hopes the Family Care Center will serve as a bridge between the community's medical needs and the UI's commitment to health care education and promotion. "We're all very excited by the opportunities we have to serve peoples' health care needs in a variety of ways," she says.

In addition to the community room, the center includes 12 examination rooms, x-ray facilities and offices covering a total of approximately 8,200 square feet.

"North Liberty is such a rapidly growing community that it can easily support other physicians," Protextor says. "This will also provide UI resident physicians with experience in the 'real worlds' of family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, and pediatrics, so it's a benefit to the whole community."

UICMS currently owns and operates one other center, Heartland Family Health Associates, in Perry. Protextor says UICMS was developed to provide a full spectrum of relationships with community-based physicians, ranging from practice acquisitions to management services.

"It's a pretty exciting time for us as we continue to evaluate other affiliations and clinic sites throughout Iowa," Protextor notes.