By James Beaty
A group of community leaders, clinic employees and other local residents gathered Tuesday at the Warren Clinic in McAlester for a ribbon-cutting and open house ceremony to showcase renovations at the facility.
Renovations totaled $1.7 million, said Warren Clinic Administrator Steve Davis.
One of the changes which resulted from the renovations, which have been ongoing over the past year, is those who are going to the clinic for treatment no longer have to check in at a downstairs window.
Instead, they now go directly to the physician’s or medical provider’s office, Davis said.
Other changes have resulted as well.
“We have new sheetrock, paint, ceiling tiles,” Davis said. The work followed what Davis called “basically, a complete gutting of the building.”
Other changes involve the return of some physicians or medical providers offices to the Warren Clinic.
The OB/GYN offices have returned to the Warren Clinic, from their previous location in a building near the McAlester Regional Health Center, Davis said, referring, of course, to the obstetrics and gynecology offices.
Also, the ear, nose and throat offices have returned to the Warren Clinic, also from a building near the hospital.
In addition, the gastroenterology office is back in the Warren Clinic, according to Davis.
“The providers were able to move back into the facility,” Davis said.
One of the goals of the changes was to give the facility more of a small clinic feeling, according to Davis. He credited Debbie Nelson of the Warren Clinic staff with “putting her heart and soul” into the project.
Dr. John Cotton, medical director and chief of staff at the Warren Clinic, manned the scissors for the ribbon-cutting.
“I want to thank our guests and visitors for coming out on such a cold winter day to inaugurate our newly-renovated clinic building,” Cotton said, adding that it’s already had a huge impact on morale.
Among those attending the ribbon-cutting were Mayor Stave Harrison, City Manager Pete Stasiak and Kevin Priddle, the former McAlester mayor. Harrison proclaimed Tuesday as Warren Clinic Day.
Others who attended the ribbon-cutting included representatives from the McAlester Area Chamber of Commerce and McAlester Regional Health Center Chief Executive Officer David Keith.
Representatives from the Mercy Clinic, including Dr. Larry Lewis and his father, Don Lewis, also a former McAlester mayor, attended the event, as did Paige Scott, who is field representative for U.S. Sen. Dr. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee.
Three executive vice presidents from Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa were also on hand for the ceremony. They included David Weil, who briefly addressed those present; David Wagner and Jim Kaltenbacher.
The mayor’s proclamation noted the McAlester Clinic first opened in 1936 at the corner of Third Street and Seminole Avenue, initially starting with four practitioners.
In 1981, the clinic moved to its present location at 1401 E. Van Buren Ave., with 13 physicians.
The McAlester Clinic became part of the Saint Francis Health System as the Warren Clinic, McAlester, in 1997.
It’s grown to include 26 providers, with specialties in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, general surgery, ENT or ears, nose and throat; podiatry, gastroenterology, obstetrics /gynecology, and cardiology.
Other services include a walk-in clinic, a medical lab. mammography, audiology and bone density testing.
Contact James Beaty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smartphone.