UICMS to open health care center in Belle Plaine
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A new primary care health center serving the Belle
Plaine area will open next spring, according to officials at University
of Iowa Community Medical Services Inc. (UICMS).
The clinic will be built on land at the southwest corner of First Street
and Ninth Avenue, in the Norgaard Subdivision. Terry Protextor, executive
director of UICMS, says ground will be broken in November, with the clinic
opening around May 1, 1998.
The Belle Plaine clinic will employ two board-certified family practice
physicians and six other staff, Protextor says. The building's design will
strongly resemble a similar UICMS clinic in North Liberty, with the potential
to expand should the need arise, he says.
The facility will include laboratory and radiology support services,
as well as preventive medicine outreach to the community. According to
Dr. John Fieselmann, medical director for UICMS, the clinic helps fulfill
the UI's commitment to teach primary care in a rural setting to medical
students and resident physician trainees.
"As with all physician training sites associated with the UI, patients
will be able to choose whether to allow a trainee to participate in their
care," he says.
Several Belle Plaine residents were active in helping the clinic locate
in the community. These included Mayor Tom Hollopeter, City Clerk Kaye
Buch, Assistant City Clerk Sue Bevins, Jennifer Schlarnam of the Belle
Plaine Chamber of Commerce, real estate agent Kay Cook, auto dealer Dean
Johnson, Marie Stratford, Dennis Schwaub and Dennis Garling of the Belle
Plaine Development Corp., Colleen Gibbons of the Chamber of Commerce, Gene
Severson, chairman of the Belle Plaine Medical Center Commission, and property
owners Anders and Geraldine Norgaard.
"This new clinic will be a great addition to the community,"
Norgaard says. "We're especially excited since the physicians they
employ will actually be living here to serve the people of Belle Plaine
and the surrounding area."
According to Protextor, the Norgaards and Dennis Garling, president
of the Belle Plaine Development Corp., are collaborating with UICMS in
a recruiting campaign to attract two primary care physicians to live and
work in the community.
Dean Johnson, a Belle Plaine auto dealer and president of the Belle
Plaine Improvement Corp., described the clinic as a "tremendous addition"
that fits "hand in glove" with ongoing community development
efforts. "It's going to be a first-class facility with first-class
traffic access in an area on the south side of town that's just beginning
to be developed," he says.
Johnson says the Belle Plaine Improvement Corp., a locally-owned community
business improvement organization, and Liberty Growth III, an Iowa City
development company, will partner with UICMS in constructing the building.
Hollopeter welcomed the new clinic to the community. "We're very
excited to have a new health care resource in our midst," he says.
"We have every reason to believe it will help this fine community
continue to grow and prosper in the years to come."
UICMS, which manages the center, is a subsidiary of the UI Health System,
formed by the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the UI College of Medicine.
The Belle Plaine clinic joins a UICMS network that includes the clinic
in North Liberty, a medical oncology and hematology clinic in Ottumwa,
and a family practice clinic in Perry.
Protextor says UICMS continues to evaluate other affiliations and clinic
sites throughout Iowa.