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Local orthopedic office offers clinic to reduce ER wait times

Hospitals and urgent care offices have been overwhelmed with patients because of Covid-19. One local medical office has a walk-in clinic that can help treat certain problems to avoid long wait times at the ER.

Posted: Jan 13, 2022 9:23 PM
Updated: Jan 14, 2022 11:24 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Hospitals and urgent care offices have been swamped with patients since the start of the pandemic.

In emergency rooms, long wait times are a struggle. But, not all patients are sick with COVID-19. Many of them have other medical problems that need faster treatment.

"We wanted to reach out to our community and let them know that we offer services here that we can try and take some of that burden off of our hospital system," OSMC Orthopedic Trauma Surgeon Dr. John Weitlich said.

In St. Joe, the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center is trying to help. They have a walk-in clinic that accepts same-day appointments.

"We take care of any orthopedic injuries such as hip pain, knee pain, shoulder pain. We take care of fractures, broken bones of any sorts are all things we can take care of here," Dr. Weitlich said.

Dr. John Weitlich is just one of several orthopedic trauma surgeons here. He says the walk-in clinic isn't brand new.

"This is actually a service we offer full-time year round. So it's not just a crisis management or just a temporary thing," Dr. Weitlich said.

He adds that with multiple providers here, you can have a much shorter wait time than if you were to go to the hospital emergency room for a broken bone.

"We usually see anywhere from 20 patients a day sometimes more. We also have several providers here, and I usually see 20 patients an afternoon or sometimes more. And we also have other providers here who also see patients. And so if anybody comes in, and we have a little bit of a wait, we have other specialists here that are willing to see people to prevent longer wait times," Dr. Weitlich said.

The walk-in clinic is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you want to call and make an appointment the number is 816-233-9888 with extension 800.

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Bitter cold temperatures have returned to the area with temperatures in the single digits and wind chills below zero this morning. Temperatures will struggle to warm up today with highs in the 20s under mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will slowly start to warm throughout the rest of the work week as dry weather continues. The weekend looks to be mild and sunny with highs in the 40s.
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