[Editor’s note: The location of this facility has been an urgent care center for many years. Yesterday’s opening heralded a new operator sanctioned and brought in by the Huntington Hospital, with new equipment and services, to replace the former management. ]
The first patients side-stepped a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday as doctors and nurses at a new East Pasadena medical center designed as an alternative to traditional hospital emergency rooms donned their stethoscopes and got down to business.
Walk-ins are now welcome from 9 a.m. to 9 pm., seven days a week, at Exer More Than Urgent Care, 3160 E. Del Mar Blvd. The facility operates in cooperation with Huntington Hospital.
Mayor Tornek, Vice Mayor John Kennedy, District 4 Councilmember Gene Masuda, representatives of other elected officials, Chamber of Commerce leadership and members joined Exer and Huntington Hospital gathered for a celebratory opening ceremony.
“This is a really important place for the people of Pasadena,” Mayor Terry Tornek said. “Those of you that have been around for awhile will remember that when St. Luke closed its doors, that people in East Pasadena freaked out. I lived in East Pasadena so I know how important that hospital, with all due respect to the Huntington, was to people that lived in this part of town.”
Exer Chief Operating Officer Jim Tierney thanked the city, the hospital and Exer staff for their work.
“Exer More Than Urgent Care was founded by emergency room doctors with a vision that because so many patients show up in the emergency room and don’t actually need emergency room care, that we could do it better by bringing the same medical expertise of emergency room physicians to a convenient, clean, neighborhood clinic that people could walk into and get access to essentially the same care,” Tierney said. “And this is just another step on the road to that vision. And so I’m really excited for you to be a part of it.”
“It’s a partnership for great community care, and so we’re ecstatic about it,” he said.
Dr. Brian Wilbur, who is serving as chief medical officer said a third of emergency room visits in California are not true medical emergencies.
“Exer More Than Urgent Care can stabilize and treat over 80 percent of cases seen in your local E.R. day on a daily basis, with less waiting and a fraction of the cost. It’s a real win for everyone,” he said.
“Exer More Than Urgent Care combines the clinical expertise of E.R. physicians with the comfort, convenience and caring that we all want when we’re hurt or not feeling well,” Wilbur said. “Exer Pasadena is unique in that we are staffing it with the partnership with Huntington E.R. Physician Group, so the same doctors at Huntington Hospital emergency room are working here to truly keep it local.”
Mayor Tornek said in addition to providing local residents with care, the new facility will ease E.R. crowding..
“The City after some fits and starts came to the conclusion that we really needed to take advantage of this location, with the cooperation of the Huntington [Hospital], in order to relieve some of the mounting pressure as was referenced on the emergency room operation with the Huntington,” he said.
“The City made an investment at this site,” the Mayor added.
Huntington Hospital President and CEO Dr. Lori Morgan said she was enthusiastic about the new partnership.
“I really think that for Huntington Hospital, this is, we truly believe, in our community mission,” she said. “And part of that mission for us is to have the right care in the right place at the right time.”
“This really extends that mission for us, particularly because, as has been stated, our own physicians are here, so we have great faith and confidence in the work that they have and will continue and will continue to keep doing.”
“We really, again are happy with this partnership and are looking forward to working together for the care of our community,” Morgan said.