ChoiceOne ribbon cutting

A VIP reception and ribbon-cutting was held at the new ChoiceOne Urgent Care center Tuesday, May 24, in Denton. The office began accepting patients the next day, Wednesday, May 25.

DENTON — The ribbon was cut Tuesday, May 24, on a new urgent care center in Denton, the day before it opened to accept patients.

ChoiceOne Urgent Care, in partnership with University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, is now open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, except Thanksgiving and Christmas, in the Denton Plaza on state Route 404.

It replaces and expands on the services provided at the convenient care center Shore Regional Health opened across the highway in September 2013. That office space will now be absorbed by an existing primary care practice.

The Caroline County Chamber of Commerce hosted the ribbon-cutting for its newest member. Elected officials and representatives of Shore Regional Health and ChoiceOne came for a reception and tour of the new office.

“This is a vision being realized,” said Shore Regional Health president and CEO Ken Kozel. “It’s another step to providing health care access in Caroline County.”

John Dillon, chairman of Shore Regional Health’s Board of Directors, said the one constant in health care is change.

“This is a wonderful example of doing the right thing and getting out in front of it,” Dillon said.

Dillon said he looks forward to partnering with Lutherville-based ChoiceOne to open more urgent care centers in the area. A second one is set to open in Easton later this year.

Caroline County Commissioner Larry Porter said about five years ago, a task force was formed to come up with a memorandum of understanding between Caroline County and Shore Regional Health to improve health care access in the county.

Among the provisions of the MOU, signed in March 2013, was an urgent care center, money to maintain and update the county’s emergency transportation fleet and the reopening of the hospice house in Denton.

All of those promises have been kept, Porter said.

“It’s crucial to have trust, and the ability to work with people like Ken and Patti (Willis, senior vice president of strategy and communications for Shore Regional Health),” Porter said.

Porter also recognized for their work Commission President Wilbur Levengood; Del. Jeff Ghrist, R-36, who was a Caroline County commissioner when the MOU was signed; Chief of Staff Sara Visintainer; and Howard Sollins, an attorney with Ober Kaler in Baltimore, who worked pro bono on the MOU negotiation.

“This is a tremendous facility,” Porter said. “It’s a promise kept.”

Dr. Scott Burger, chief medical officer for ChoiceOne Urgent Care, said he is confident in the care patients will receive at the Denton office.

“We will pick up where the convenient care center did a lot of really good work over the past three years,” Burger said.

The office layout includes a reception area, triage room to assess patients’ needs and six exam rooms. Digital X-rays and lab tests can be performed on-site to provide immediate results. A small pharmacy will be able to dispense some prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

At least one medical assistant, X-ray technician and medical provider will staff the office during open hours.

Kozel said there should be enough staff to handle the expected patient volume; one of the chief complaints heard from people who used the convenient care center was the sometimes long waits to be seen.

The urgent care center can diagnose and treat allergies, asthma, broken bones, burns, colds, the flu, earaches, eye injuries, headaches, infections, nausea, skin rashes, sprains and strains.

It also offers flu shots, vaccines for international travelers, occupational health needs, preoperative exams and sports physicals.

No appointments are necessary, and most major insurance plans are accepted.

For information, call 443-606-2300 or send an email to denton@choiceoneus.com.

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