The pandemic is keeping doctors busy at Chicago’s first Black-owned urgent care facility. A year and a half after opening, doctors are already talking about expanding. Premier Urgent Care in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood isn’t just surviving, it’s thriving, as doctors there continue their quest to fill the health care void on the South Side.
While they are seeing success, it’s also been challenging.
“A lot of people may say they have urgent care hours but they can’t provide labs on site,” said Dr. Michael McGee, President and CEO of Premier Urgent Care. “They can’t provide x-rays on site. We’re sort of like a mini ER.”
McGee, along with emergency room doctors Reuben Rutland, a trauma surgeon, and Airron Richardson, opened the city’s first Black-owned, fully comprehensive urgent care facility.
The doctors said their presence was making a difference but COVID-19 quickly halted the practice.
“People who had common injuries that they would normally get checked out, they just decided to ride it out because they thought they would contract the virus just by being here,” Dr. Richardson said.
The doctors had to adjust so they could keep their promise to provide quality healthcare to Black people. A pledge that was even more important with the threat of neighborhood hospitals being closed.