Last spring, a group of Black doctors, Reuben C. Rutland, MD, Airron Richardson, MD, Michael A. McGee, MD, and former NFL player Dr. Gregory Primus, teamed up to open the first Black-owned urgent care center in Chicago’s Southside Hyde Park neighborhood.
“We live in the neighborhood and recognize when our children were injured or sick there was no urgent care nearby,” Dr. Airron Richardson, co-founder of the urgent care facility told ABC7Chicago. “You had to go to a completely different neighborhood several miles away.”
Premier Health Urgent Care looks to reduce the lack of access to adequate health services. The center wants to provide the community proper access to basic services while also including other important services, mental health and wellness. Many times individuals go straight to the local hospitals for basic health services which often can be the most expensive and most inefficient way of delivering healthcare.
“So you have the choice of waiting eight hours in the emergency department for something minor, or coming to an urgent care and waiting 10 or 15 minutes and getting it done,” Dr. Rutland explained to ABC7Chicago.
Premier Health wants to be an affordable healthcare source for the community treating everything from the common cold to bruises and sprains.
“We are happy to open an urgent care in Hyde Park because the community needs it. I see so many urban professionals who either delay or go without care because of time constraints. No one has 8 hours to wait in the emergency department for a minor illness or the flexibility to wait 3 weeks because their primary care doctor is booked solid. We are here to help fill that gap,” says Dr. Rutland in The Chicago Crusader. “We are not in competition with the doctors’ offices or the emergency department. We are a supplement to them both, to help relieve the stress on those two facilities.”