The Only One

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Above: Vidant Immediate Care is located at 226 South Academy Street, Ahoskie, just down the street from the hospital. Below: Guests attending Monday’s open house and ribbon cutting ceremony take a tour of the medical facility. | Staff Photos by Cal Bryant

Above: Vidant Immediate Care is located at 226 South Academy Street, Ahoskie, just down the street from the hospital.| Staff Photos by Cal Bryant

AHOSKIE – Among its many claims to fame, Ahoskie bills itself as “The Only One” – meaning there’s no other place on the face of the earth with that name.

That mantra was duplicated here Monday.

During the grand opening and formal ribbon cutting of the new Vidant Immediate Care facility, located at 226 South Academy Street (adjacent to Drug Co), it was touted that the public medical care facility is the first of its kind within the Vidant organization.

Guests attending Monday’s open house and ribbon cutting ceremony take a tour of the medical facility.

Guests attending Monday’s open house and ribbon cutting ceremony take a tour of the medical facility.

“We have a similar clinic in Greenville, but it’s designed only for Vidant employees; this one here in Ahoskie is for the general public as well as Vidant employees,” said Megan Booth-Mills, the Administrator for Vidant’s Regional Operations (Ahoskie, Edenton and Windsor). “It’s only fitting that Vidant’s only Immediate Care facility for the public is located in a town that boasts of being the only one by that name in the world.

“We’re very encouraged with the results of this clinic thus far; it’s been very well received by the public as well as by the staff at the hospital; we’re happy to be here offering this type of service,” she added.

“The thought process of this clinic was to take the load off the ER (Emergency Room) at Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital,” said Joyce Brantley, who manages Operations for Vidant at its Ahoskie locations. “

“It also provides a better service for patients,” added Booth-Mills. “I have two small children….when you get the call from school at 2 p.m. saying that your child is sick, and you know it’s an ear infection and your child’s pediatrician cannot see them until tomorrow, you can bring them here; it’s easier for the child and the parent.”

Booth-Mills said the Intermediate Care clinic is for general ailments such as earaches, sinus infections, minor cuts/injuries, asthma, sprains, rashes, or bladder infections – medical conditions that do not require emergency/trauma services.

“We recently had a three-year-old who had fallen and cut his lip; we were able to quickly handle that situation with a few stitches instead of having to sit and wait at the emergency room,” Brantley noted. “We had another patient, an adult, with abnormally high blood pressure. We were able to treat that patient here, to include a period of monitoring that pressure, which also prevented that patient from having to sit and wait at the ER.”

“It’s a walk-in clinic,” said Dr. Pierre Selwane, who serves as Medical Director at Vidant Immediate Care. “If the case not complicated then we can handle it here. We’re also open until 8 p.m. – long after most local doctor’s offices have closed. We draw patients from Ahoskie and all other surrounding counties and communities.”

Based on her idea, Brantley wrote the business plan for this clinic. She said it took a year to put that plan in place and to find the right provider.

“There were a couple of doctors who came to me about a clinic such as this and we put a plan together; we all felt this would be very beneficial to our community,” Brantley remarked.

“We’ve exceeded the number of patients that we originally thought we’d see over the first two months,” she continued, adding that the clinic had 87 patients in November and 136 in December.

Brantley added that the clinic was set up as a physician’s office. She said if it was established as an urgent care office, the insurance co-pay would be much higher than what is typically charged at a family doctor’s office.

“I wanted to encourage patients to come here, not turn them away due to an extremely high fee,” Brantley stressed.

Debra (“Deb’) Milliner, family nurse practitioner, is the main provider at the new medical practice.

“She is a perfect fit; she has great experience, to include a nurse at a clinic such as this and also served as a flight nurse on a medical helicopter for 21 years,” Brantley said. “She knows what she’s doing and Deb has come in and hit the ground running.”

Milliner comes to Ahoskie from Reno, Nevada.

“I have an amazing staff here,” said Milliner, introducing Kathryn Anderson (LPN) and Sharonda Chamblee (Service Line Coordinator). “We have seen patients every single day here since we opened back on Nov. 10. The patients we’ve seen are appropriate for this type of medical care. We’re seeing lots of kids. The little ones don’t need to go and sit in the Emergency Room. We’re also providing patient education for the local community.”

“We are so happy to have this facility open in our community because it gives us extra access to healthcare,” stated Amy Braswell, Executive Vice President of the Ahoskie Chamber of Commerce. “It gives our local citizens a choice to come here rather than to sit and wait while visiting the (hospital’s) Emergency Room. That was the goal here – to keep the true emergencies for the Emergency Room and use this clinic for general ailments.”

Vidant Immediate Care – Ahoskie is open to the public five days a week, Monday – Friday, from 1-8 p.m. (no appointments needed).

For more information call Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital Community Relations at 209-3151 or visit

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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