Dr. Eric Carter
Two weeks into their first Tennessee venture, officials with Georgia’s Hutcheson Medical Center said early results back up their decision to open a family care clinic in the Ooltewah area.
“Hutcheson is spreading its wings a little bit, trying to capture a larger patient population and serve a greater and larger (area),” said Dr. Eric Carter, who saw 17 people on the first day the clinic opened.
After watching Erlanger hospital, Memorial Hospital and HCA stake out territory in North Georgia, Hutcheson executives began mulling a move north, hospital President Charles Stewart said.
“We had been studying that area for some time,” Mr. Stewart said. “The area has a significant number of residents, and it is projected to continue to grow. It was really looking more broadly at the Chattanooga metropolitan area.”
Staff Photo by Allison Kwesell
Dr. Eric Carter examines Walker County's fire chief, Randy Camp, at his office at the Hutcheson Family Clinic in Ooltewah. This is the first Hutcheson Clinic in Tennessee.
The location, at the Bi-Lo center at East Brainerd and Ooltewah-Ringgold roads, is accessible to the hospital’s main campus in Fort Oglethorpe and Hutcheson on the Parkway, he said. The clinic also is near the new middle-high school Hamilton County is building in East Brainerd.
“From our perspective, the ease of access ... is just as convenient or even quicker than going to other hospitals,” he said.
Mr. Stewart said he believes Tennessee residents will go the clinic even though it is run by a Georgia hospital.
“We certainly hope that would be the case, regardless of the state line,” Mr. Stewart said. “I feel if someone comes to our outpatient campus or main hospital, they are going to be pleased with level of service they receive. We feel like there is a population that will help us grow.”