By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – The Grapeland Urgent Care Facility hosted its Grand Opening on Saturday, March 24 as the city of Grapeland and Grapeland Area Chamber of Commerce formally welcomed the medical practice to town.
The festivities were opened by Grapeland Mayor Balis Daily who commented many in attendance were aware of how important it was for a community to provide great healthcare services.
After an invocation led by former Houston County judge Erin Ford, the mayor introduced Dick McNairy – the CFO of Grapeland Urgent Care.
“This thing got started with a partnership of doctors, down in Houston. We put this together with Vulcraft (a division of Nucor) and the city of Grapeland to form Grapeland Urgent Care,” the CFO said.
“It’s an exciting opportunity because we know there is a need here and we know the people have requested this. We also know this is the best way for people not to have to travel 30 miles to get any type of medical care,” McNairy said.
He added the center had actually opened on March 1 and had seen over 150 patients in just over three weeks.
“This just confirms the fact that the need is here,” McNairy added.
Next, the CFO introduced Joe Tumalad, NP (nurse practitioner)
“He is the NP who will be running the center. He has extensive urgent care experience. He has worked in the ER and is a wellness instructor. He has done certifications for ER instructors and is a personal trainer. So, you’re getting more than your typical NP in Joe. You will know that once you’ve been here,” he said.
Before he concluded, McNairy informed the crowd about the various games, prizes, raffles and food available during the celebration.
Following his opening remarks, McNairy spoke to The Messenger.
When asked for his thoughts on the day’s events, he replied, “The day’s events are to confirm the need is here for some medical facilities that have been absent. It’s also to let people know we’re here. We’ve had a great turnout today and we’ve had a great turnout since the center has been open on the first of March,” he said.
He added while many of the patients are from the Grapeland area, many are not.
“We are seeing people from Crockett and Elkhart and places like that. We are also increasing our interest in other companies –besides Vulcraft – to use our services. We’ve got DOT testing for the school district in Latexo along with TB testing for some of the drivers. We are beginning to get the word out, which is excellent,” McNairy said.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.