Rockdale Medical Center (RMC) has opened a second urgent care facility on February 23, 2015 to serve patients in Rockdale, Newton and surrounding counties. Located on Highway 212 in the Brown Bridge Medical Plaza in Covington, the newest office will see patients Monday through Friday from noon to 8 p.m. and is hiring staff for Saturdays from 8-5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The new facility will be staffed with nurse practitioners who have worked previously either at the RMC emergency department or with Grady urgent care.
“We want this facility to not only be the extension of physician practices in Rockdale, Newton and surrounding counties, but also for people who live in this area, who need quick access for an emergent situation, or to have access to providers with whom they can feel confident in establishing care,” according to Terry Potts. Potts, who is practice administrator for the new facility as well as Bridgewater Family Practice, said the physicians at Bridgewater will oversee the nurse practitioners at Brown Bridge Urgent Care.
When should a patient visit a Georgia Primary and Urgent Care facility?
“If your problem is not life-threatening or risking disability, but you are concerned and you cannot see your doctor soon enough, this is when you would go to an urgent care facility,” Dr. Jonathan Henderson, M.D. a physician at Bridgewater said, adding that such problems might include a sore throat, earache, acute illness, sprains, minor cuts, and other such conditions. “Emergency rooms are for when you quickly need care and through calling 911 when you need the emergency team to come to you right away, or in some cases transport you or a family member,” the doctor said. “Difficulty breathing, fainting, severe chest pain or pressure, sudden inability to speak, see, walk or more are just a few of the symptoms that would require emergency room care and the equipment that is accessible to take care of you.”
Henderson said urgent care facilities are not meant to take the place of a patient’s physician, but are there to provide care when the physician’s office is closed or a patient is unable to get an appointment in a time frame they desire. Potts said the urgent care facilities not only serve as the extension of a physician’s office when people are unable to see their primary care physician, but the facility offers an opportunity for patients to establish care with one of the many physicians within the Rockdale Physician Practice Group.
Cheryl Raper is practice administrator for Georgia Primary and Urgent Care on Sigman Road, the other Rockdale Medical Center urgent care facility. Founded in Conyers in 2012 by Dr. Andrew Smith and Randy Riner, P.A., Georgia Primary and Urgent Care welcomes walk-in patients needing help with all types of problems. Among conditions doctors often handle are sore throats, earaches, allergic reactions, sports physicals, Department of Transportation physicals, workers’ compensation exams, lacerations, sprains, strains, and other minor emergencies.
Smith is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine. He has experience in treating all types of conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sore throats, allergies, rashes, the flu, and many other ailments and conditions. A graduate of King College with a degree in history, Smith attended Columbia Theological Seminary. While working as a pastor, Smith volunteered as an emergency medical technician during which time he was moved to pursue a medical career. He enrolled in Mercer School of Medicine and did his residency at Georgia Baptist, now known as Atlanta Medical Center.
Riner is a 1976 graduate of the Physicians’ Assistant Program from the Medical College of Georgia. He has experience in family practice, internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics/gynecology, orthopedics, and pediatrics.
Dr. Benjamin Fernando, M.D. also takes care of patients at Georgia Primary and Urgent Care. Certified in family medicine. Fernando attended medical school at St. George’s University School of Medicine and did his residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi. He is a member of the American Medical Association, Mississippi State Medical Association, and American Academy of Family Physicians. He sees patients ages two years and older and treats such chronic illnesses as diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and others, as well as being certified in doing Botox injections and Juviderm fillers.
Georgia Primary and Urgent Care also offers such primary care services as hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, and wellness physicals. Georgia Primary and Urgent Care is located at 1301 Sigman Road, Suite 230 in Conyers. Georgia Primary and Urgent Care Brown Bridge is located at 7138 Highway 212, Suite A in Covington.
By Beth Slaughter Sexton