ASHVILLE - An urgent care practice that will soon celebrate its fifth year in Circleville recently expanded its services into the Ashville area.
After Hours Family Health Care, owned by Gary and Shelly Artrip of Circleville, now sees patients during its business hours in the building it shares with the Ashville Apothecary pharmacy on state Route 752. The Circleville clinic will mark its five-year milestone in June in space provided by the Circleville Apothecary store.
Gary Artrip is a nurse practitioner who works in medical services for the State of Ohio by day and earned his masters degree from Otterbein University in 2008. Shelly Artrip manages the business end of the practice, including construction, billing and hiring.
"We went into this mainly to serve the underserved," Shelly said. "When we first opened, I thought it would be primarily urgent care services, but it has turned out to be about 50/50. For some people who are uninsured, or even people who are insured but have really high deductibles, this has really become a source of primary care for them."
After Hours Family Health Care charges $40 for an office visit for general illnesses and injuries, including colds, flu and allergies. It also offers sports, school and work physicals for a $20 office fee, as well as follow-up suture or staple removal. DOT physicals also are available for a total of $60.
Other services include management of chronic illnesses including hypertension, asthma and diabetes; suturing, staples and skin glue; ingrown toenail removal; removal of skin tags, moles and warts; treatment of skin abscesses; ear wax removal; routine injections; and TB tests. Some of these services are provided for an additional fee.
They can also write routine prescriptions, provide referrals to specialists and coordinate treatment with a patient's primary care physician.
Shelly said the practice recently stopped accepting insurance plans because the cost to the patient was often higher when insurance co-pays and deductibles were applied. She said most patients have been understanding about that change and realize the costs are much lower than an emergency room visit or retail urgent care options.
Though the practice has a strong and steady business, sometimes seeing as many as 26 patients in a four-hour period in the evening, Shelly said sometimes it seems to be the best-kept health care secret in town.
"People say to me all the time, 'I didn't know there was an urgent care in Circleville,' or 'I didn't know you offered this or that,'" she said. "It's funny how many people don't know we're here after all this time."
Shelly said she and her husband were nervous about opening the business five years ago.
"We wanted to do it, but it was a huge risk for us," she said. "If Bob Mabe hadn't given us that room in Circleville for such a great price, we never could have done it."
Bob Mabe, owner of the Circleville and Ashville Apothecary stores, said he believes After Hours Family Health Care fills a need in Pickaway County.
"There was just nothing available in the north end of Circleville after 5 p.m.," Mabe said. "People would have to go to the emergency room or to another town for those services, and people in Ashville would have to go to Groveport or South Columbus. I think they're providing a pretty nice service."
The Circleville location at 1204 N. Court St. is open 5 to 9 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The phone number is 740-497-4693.
The Ashville location at 3400 St. Rt. 752, is open from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; and 1:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The phone number is 740-954-3273.
No appointment is necessary at either location.