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8798 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 356-7123

Release: Immediate

UI Family Care Center in Belle Plaine to open Nov. 23

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A new primary care health center employing two physicians and providing a mixture of primary and specialty expertise will begin serving Belle Plaine area residents on Monday, Nov. 23.

The University of Iowa Family Care Center, located at 105 9th Ave. in Belle Plaine, is managed by UI Community Medical Services, Inc. (UICMS), a subsidiary of the UI Health System formed by the UI Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) and the UI College of Medicine.

The clinic's staff includes Dr. Khalil Abu-Zahra and Dr. Fadi Yacoub, both board-certified specialists in internal medicine. The physicians will be supported by two nurses and office staff.

"We're very excited by the opportunity to serve the people of Belle Plaine," said Abu-Zahra. "Since Dr. Yacoub and myself are both trained in internal medicine, our educational backgrounds permit us to provide extensive care for adults, including performing certain minor procedures in the clinic, like flexible sigmoidoscopies."

Yacoub and Abu-Zahra added that the clinic will be a UI training site, providing medical students and resident physicians an opportunity to receive health care experience in a community setting. Yacoub and Abu-Zahra also plan to present "health and wellness" educational seminars to community residents.

"The educational aspect is really valuable to everyone, patients as well as ourselves and physicians-in-training," Yacoub said.

The physicians both described the clinic's mission as a patient-oriented blending of primary and specialty health care.

Yacoub said he and his spouse, LouAnn, are looking forward to working in the community, where they plan to build a house during the coming months.

A graduate of the medical school at Tichreen University in Syria, Yacoub completed a family practice residency in Kansas City, and recently finished a nephrology fellowship at the UIHC.

Abu-Zahra received his medical degree from the University of Jordan. He completed internal medicine externship training in England, and recently finished a three-year residency at the University of Minnesota. His spouse, Dina, is a medical student at the UI.

Terry Protextor, executive director of UICMS, said the new clinic fills a need within the community. "The need for additional medical services is definitely there," he said. "We're happy to be part of the Belle Plaine community, and we have a lot of community leaders to thank for that and for getting this facility built."

The Belle Plaine clinic joins a growing UICMS network of similar primary care centers throughout mostly eastern Iowa.

For information about the clinic or to schedule an appointment, call (319) 444-3210.