Feature

Health & Wellness 2024: Franciscan set to expand services at Cherry Creek

Franciscan Health has had a presence in Homewood’s Cherry Creek shopping center on Governors Highway for years, but its footprint is poised to expand from its current physical therapy clinic to include more services in a bigger space.

The space the organization has now, less than 8,000 square feet, will grow to nearly 20,000 square feet. The existing Adult Outpatient Rehabilitation Clinic will be expanded to approximately 8,000 square feet.
A pediatric therapy clinic will be about 4,000 square feet and a primary care clinic will have about 8,000 square feet.

The former Bank of America location at 18460 Governors Highway, the former Weight Watchers store at 18426 and the former Ace Hardware store at 18410 will all be part of Franciscan’s new facility. Ebel’s Ace Hardware relocated to 18320 and reopened in January.

The former location of Ebel’s Ace Hardware will host a pediatric therapy clinic after Franciscan Health’s expansion project is complete. The new facility will also host adult therapy and a primary care clinic. (Eric Crump/H-F Chronicle)

With the new space will come a range of new services for area residents.

In addition to the current physical and occupational therapy services, the new space will offer pediatric therapy in the former hardware store space. The clinic will move from the Olympia Fields campus to the Cherry Creek facility.

Pediatric therapy will have more space than it does now, according to Laurie Shellito, director of rehabilitation services at Franciscan. The expansion will help reduce waiting lists for appointments, she said.

The pediatric therapy clinic will offer physical, occupational and speech therapies, including focuses on orthopedic and neurological needs.

She said the new space would also be designed to appeal to younger patients and their families.

“We’re excited to have kind of a facelift as well,” she said. “It’ll look very pediatric friendly.”

The current adult physical therapy clinic will also expand its speech therapy to full time from the current part time schedule.

Shellito said one feature of its service Franciscan is especially proud of is the one-on-one attention patients receive from therapists, which sets the clinic apart from other therapy providers. She said patients have reported to her the difference it makes in their treatment to have full attention of a licensed clinical therapist.

“They feel they’re able to progress faster and they feel like they have that rapport with their therapist (who) understands how their body’s moving or performing,” she said.

She also noted that the clinic offers direct access for patients who suffer an injury or are in pain. Rather than having to schedule an appointment with a primary care physician to get a referral, which can delay treatment, patients can come to the clinic for an evaluation first.

The clinic will then share the findings with the patient’s doctor.

Another new addition is a primary care clinic with 18 exam rooms and one procedure room. The clinic will be operated by Specialty Physicians and will be staffed by physicians and advanced practice providers (APP). APPs include nurse practicioners and physician assistants.

Sheree S. Boyd, vice president of ambulatory services for Specialty Physicians, said the staffing strategy allows the clinic to provide the professional who fits each patient’s needs.

“What typically happens is a new patient comes in and will see a physician first. The physician addresses all of those acute issues,” she said. “Then that appointment will be followed up with their APP partner because it’ll be a less acute condition.”

The clinic will be moving from its current location at 18636 Dixie Highway in Homewood.

Boyd said the new facility will offer more convenience for patients. They will be able to get lab work done at the Cherry Creek clinic, and those patients who also need physical therapy will be served at the same location.

Convenience helps patients get the care they need when they need it, according to Boyd.

“It helps to keep our patients healthy and to get the required preventative care that they need,” she said. “When people keep up with their primary care providers that keeps them out of the hospital, which is our number one goal.”

The work on the new facility is expected to start this spring and could be completed by the end of the year, depending on construction conditions. The current target is to open in December.

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