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Release: Immediate

UICMS to open Tipton primary care health center next spring

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A new primary care health center serving the Tipton area will open next spring, according to officials at University of Iowa Community Medical Services Inc. (UICMS).

The clinic will be built on a 1.4-acre site in a new commercial development tract on the community's south side, just west of the Pizza Hut. Terry Protextor, executive director of UICMS, said the clinic will open in June 1998.

UICMS, which manages the center, is a subsidiary of the UI Health System, formed by the UIHC and the UI College of Medicine. The Tipton clinic joins a similar new clinic in North Liberty, a family practice physician clinic in Perry, and a medical hematology and oncology clinic in Ottumwa.

The Tipton clinic will employ two board-certified family practice physicians and six support staff, Protextor said. The building's design will strongly resemble the North Liberty clinic, with the potential to expand should the need arise, he said.

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 said.

Tipton Mayor Wayne Deerberg welcomed the new clinic to the community. "We're excited they've decided to join us," he said. "This is a vibrant, attractive community with lots of excellent services and amenities. It will truly enhance the options people have for receiving expert health care close to home."

Karen Soteco, marketing director for the Cedar County Economic Development Commission (CCEDCO), said the new clinic will enhance the quality of life for people in Tipton and surrounding communities. "It will definitely provide local and improved access to many medical specialty areas at the UI," she said.

Walter Ferguson, executive director of CCEDCO, said the clinic will "provide Tipton and nearby areas with the best medical services available outside a metropolitan area, in conjunction with well-staffed and well-operated clinics already available through Mercy Hospital and St. Luke's."

David Fry, president of the Tipton Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO), and Gordon Esbeck, a TEDCO board member, both noted that the new clinic's physicians will live in Tipton. "We view this as a real plus," Fry said. "Having two new physicians who actually live and work in this town will be wonderful in terms of our future as a vibrant, growing community."

Protextor said the clinic will provide "obvious advantages" in terms of its affiliation with the UIHC, an internationally recognized comprehensive health care center. "We believe this project demonstrates the UI's commitment to providing quality health care to rural communities," he said.

Protextor said UICMS continues to evaluate other affiliations and clinic sites throughout Iowa.