The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Money

June 29, 2013

New Beckley Clinic provides evening and weekend health care

A new medical clinic in Beckley was created with working families in mind.

Horizon Medical Health Center is staffed with a doctor, three nurse practitioners and a physician’s assistant.

The real difference, though, is that Horizon provides family medical care until 10 p.m. and on weekends.

“The reason I opened here, I’m a working parent,” said CEO and managing director Christina Rhodes. “I was a single parent for seven years.

“I have four kids, and if I missed a day of work, it wasn’t convenient for me.

“This is for the working parents, the working families that can afford to go to a doctor but need the convenience.”

Rhodes, a native of Peru who grew up in New Jersey, was married to Dr. Edward Hunter and lived in Bluefield for years.

When Hunter passed away seven years ago, Rhodes, a former CPA, had helped him branch off into private practice.

Dr. Hunter was skeptical at first, but by the time that the clinic closed, he was seeing 5,000 patients, said Rhodes.

“A lot of people still miss him,” she said. “He was dedicated to his patients.

“So I learned from him a lot, the dedication thing,” said Rhodes. “He used to tell me, ‘Put yourself in the same shoes they are before you do anything. What would you do?’”

She said Horizon is her answer to that question: She didn’t have relatives to pick up her kids from school to take them to sports physicals during work hours.

“I thought I was the only parent with that problem,” she said. “I thought, ‘I don’t have the grandparents, I don’t have brothers and sisters.

“‘Who’s going to help me? I need help, and I don’t have that help.’”

When she realized many other working parents were facing the same issue, she knew that opening a clinic with extended hours was a way she could put herself in their “shoes” and serve them.

“It took me three years to research,” she said. “I said, ‘I have to do something.””

When her oldest son turned 18, she felt the time was right.

Located at 2233 S. Kanawha St., Horizon is in the same building as Renew Physical Therapy and a future optometrist’s office, which Rhodes says is particularly important for Horizon’s diabetic patients.

The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on weekends from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Family medicine appointments made be made for evening or day hours, and patients may walk in for acute care.

Treatment is provided for sprains, broken bones and strains, ear infections, breathing issues, cuts, burns, rashes, cold and flu, allergies, high blood pressure, diabetes and viruses.

Minor surgeries are also performed, and vaccinations, drug screenings, CDL physicals and pre-employment screening are also provided.

Providers are Dr. David Shamblin, M.D., nurse practitioners Donna Linkous, Tara Jackson and Michelle Villanueva and physicians assistant James Lowe.

— E-mail: jfarrish@register-herald.com

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