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Friday
December 06th, 2019

xpress wellness ribbon cuttingChamber Ambassadors join Xpress Wellness employees in cutting the ribbon on the company’s Liberal location Saturday morning. L&T photo/Robert PierceROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times

 

Work has been going on for a while at a new medical office on West 15th Street in Liberal, and Saturday morning, the community welcomed a new provider to town.

Xpress Wellness Urgent Care, along with the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, hosted a launch party and a ribbon cutting for the office.

Xpress Wellness CEO Grant Asay loved the turnout the company received as its doors were open for community members to come and see.

“It’s great, and the reception we’re getting from the Chamber and the community has been outstanding,” he said.

Asay said he is excited to see as his company becomes part of the Liberal community.

“It feels great,” he said. “We are excited to be here. We are trying as much as we can to be a part of Liberal. If you go through the clinic, you’ll see every single one of the pieces of art. I think we have 40 or 50 pieces of art in terms of photographs and such that are from Liberal. We’re trying to integrate really well with the community. We’ve already met several times with the hospital and our providing a service, I think, is going to be very complementary of the health care services in the community.”

Asay and Xpress Wellness Founder Doug Williams spend a lot of time on the road visiting communities to see if there is a need for a different kind of health service in those towns. The CEO said this is basically how company leaders came to choose Liberal for a location.

“The hospitals are in place in every single community we go to,” he said. “Is there a way we can complement some of those services? Is there a way where employers could use our services either for occupational medicine or for workers comp? This seemed like a really great community fit for us. It’s our first clinic that has been built in about two years. We chose to be in Liberal for that opportunity.”

Naturally, Asay said, Xpress Wellness looks for communities that would welcome the company to town, and they also look for cities with populations similar to Liberal’s.

“We’re building right now in Dodge and in Great Bend,” he said. “We also have property in Garden City where we’ll be going and several other rural communities in Kansas. We look for a population of maybe 8,000, but we also look where there’s a lot of smaller communities that would also support us coming to town.”

Liberal’s office is the first Xpress Wellness in rural Kansas, as the company currently runs several locations in neighboring Oklahoma and one in Andover. Asay said the company is already looking at expanding in both the Sunflower State and the Sooner State.

“We have 14 pieces of property we’ve already picked out,” he said. “About one-third of those are in Oklahoma rural areas, but the others are in Kansas. We’re looking at Great Bend, Dodge, Garden City, McPherson, Manhattan, Junction City, several rural communities where we already have property picked out, and that is in our projection for 2020 – getting those clinics up in Kansas.”

With Liberal’s being the first Xpress Wellness built in two years, Asay said the company does not necessarily set a numbers goal for building locations within a certain time frame.

“It depends on the needs of the communities where we’re going,” he said. “We are looking at Kansas and Oklahoma, those rural communities where health care is perhaps a little bit underserved. If it feels right, we’ll go into those communities. I don’t know if we have an exact number or projection. I know the company has their own personal target to be at 50 clinics within two or three years, or with eight being added to the company this year and 14 or 15 next year and the same amount in 2021, I think we’ll get to our goal of 50 pretty quickly.”

With several clinics already in place, Asay said Liberal’s was the first Xpress Wellness in the chain to have a grand opening, but he did say the other towns were excited to see an office in their community.

“Our closest one to Liberal is in Guymon, and it’s going to open up in November, same thing with Dodge and Great Bend,” he said. “That looks like a November opening. They’re very excited. We met with several employers here in town as well as the hospital, and I think everyone is excited for us to be here. There’s a lot of buzz on Facebook and social media about us being here, so it’s very exciting to us.”

Asay said Xpress Wellness is quite comparable to other urgent care clinics.

“We’re urgent care, and we’ll also take care of non-emergent situations for the patients,” he said. “We also provide primary care. If a family does not have a primary care physician, they can choose one of our providers to be that primary care provider for that family. If there’s a need in the community, we hope to fill that. Just talking to the mayor, it seems there’s a lot of health services that are going unmet, and that’s really our mission, especially in the rural parts of Kansas and Oklahoma.”

Asay said he has been a little surprised, in a good way, by the attention the Liberal Xpress Wellness has been getting, but he added it could not be more appreciated.

“That welcome really feels warm to us,” he said. “We couldn’t be happier with the reception we’re getting in the community.”

Liberal’s Xpress Wellness Urgent Care is located at 445 W. 15th Street and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday. To make an appointment, call 620-417-9012, or log on to www.xpresswellnessurgentcare.com.

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