Nurse practitioner opens independent wellness clinic
Published 1:31 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2023
An independent clinic with a focus on wellness and preventive health is now in town.
“My mission is to make health care easier for people, and to provide them with a simple, one-stop place where they can be diagnosed, treated and receive medications so it’s convenient,” said Sheila Calderon, family nurse practitioner at Patient’s Choice Wellness Clinic. “This would not be a place for someone with complex medical problems to get treated.”
Calderon can help with Department of Transportation exams, annual physicals, wellness exams and sports and preoperative physicals. She also won’t do stitches or surgeries.
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“I just want to work with people and help them get what they need, and I think patients that have worked with me before know that,” she said.
Her goal is to have a personal relationship with her patients, especially after hearing from patients how hard it could be to see their primary doctors.
“They end up seeing a variety of different people and they have to start telling their story from the beginning and they don’t feel like they have a close relationship with the providers,” she said. “That’s what I’m trying to focus on.”
She has been a nurse practitioner for seven years, but has worked in areas including cardiology and family nursing for over 20 years.
“I always had interest in cardiology, cardiac rehab, and that’s kind of led me into the nursing field,” she said. “I also had interest in management business administration.”
So she earned a master’s in business administration with the goal of opening her own clinic.
“Now just seemed like a good time to try something like this, especially with all the challenges that we’ve had in our community with health care access and different things,” she said.
Patient’s Choice Wellness Clinic also has some urgent care services and chronic disease management meditations.
“I can do on-site lab work,” Calderon said. “Some results won’t be available right away, others results would go out and be back within 24 hours.”
Currently, she described the clinic as a “family practice-type setting,” and her goal in opening was to meet the needs of people while getting patients in for preventive care for early diagnosis of things such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Calderon said currently the health care system was set up to be more reactive than proactive.
“People feel like they’re doing OK,” she said.
And while some patients come in for annual checkups, others didn’t until they were sick and needed care.
She compared an annual wellness check with taking a vehicle in for annual maintenance.
“You bring your vehicle in for an oil change because you want it to work well,” she said. “Why don’t we do the same type of thing with our bodies?
“We take our pets in for whatever they need.”
Calderon said there was a lot of juggling during the move, including setting up a phone system, working with pharmaceutical suppliers and building up a lab. Her hope is to have all of the work in getting the space operational done by the end of the month, though she had a soft opening earlier this month.
So far, she said she has gotten a lot of questions about what a wellness clinic was, which she described as focusing on what needed to be done to keep people well.
“Do we manage their chronic diseases, teach them about the importance of exercise, healthy diet, weight management and how that can help prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases down the road,” she said.
The clinic is at 904 1/2 E. Plaza St., the same building as the Community Foot Clinic and directly across the street from the Harley-Davidson store. Patient’s Choice Wellness Clinic has been in the space since Sept. 1. Anyone interested in making an appointment should call 507-821-1051 or visit their website (patientschoicewellnessclinic.com). The email address is email@example.com.
Currently, the clinic is (generally) open 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, though she said that time was flexible.
“I just hear of the frustrations with people in limited health care options, so this is just something different that I hope people will maybe consider trying,” she said.