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Urgent Care - When You Need it Most

October 02, 2012

They are the “after hours” of health care—the weekends and evenings when your regular doctor’s office is closed and a trip to the emergency room isn’t necessary. Maybe you suffered a minor cut or injury from a fall and you don’t want to wait all night or all weekend without medical attention.

The question is: do you wait until your symptoms could potentially get worse? No, says Sarkis Banipalsin, M.D., medical director of Washington Urgent Care, Washington Hospital’s onsite urgent care clinic, which is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day of the year.

“For most non-emergency medical ailments, Washington Urgent Care is a convenient and cost-effective alternative to emergency room care,” Banipalsin explains.

Urgent care’s many benefits

Washington Urgent Care offers a number of benefits, according to Patti Coffey, R.N., the clinical nurse manager of the Washington Urgent Care clinic.

First, friendly staff members are there to greet you and answer your insurance questions. And even better, says Coffey, is the fact that average waiting times are in the minutes, not hours.

“Washington Urgent Care offers the best of both worlds — a friendly, helpful environment and extended hours when your regular doctor isn’t available,” she says.

Plus, for those worried about coinsurance and co-payment costs, take heart. Insurance co-pays at the clinic are typically less than in the emergency room. And as an added benefit, the clinic accepts most insurance plans and bills patients’ insurance as a courtesy.

Get your flu shot!

Flu season, which typically runs from fall through winter, is here. To protect yourself and your family, getting vaccinated annually is a must. In fact, last year the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) began recommending that everyone over six months of age get a flu vaccine as soon as it’s available.

“If you haven’t been vaccinated at your doctor’s office already, you can get your flu shot at the clinic,” Dr. Banipalsin points out. “However, if you do get sick this year, we can address the symptoms as well.”

A good indication you have the flu and not a cold is that the symptoms — including fever, muscle aches, nonproductive coughing, runny nose, a burning sensation in the eyes and chest — are severe and come on suddenly, he adds.

Get the (urgent) care you need

Open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, Washington Urgent Care is located at 2500 Mowry Ave., Suite 212, in Fremont. To schedule an appointment, call (510) 791-CARE (791-2273). Walk-in care is always available. For more information about the services at Washington Hospital, visit and click on “Services.”

Other year-round services offered at the clinic include:
• Treatment for injuries, such as cuts and bruises
• On-the-job illness and injury, or other work-related needs
• Physical exams
• X-ray and laboratory services on-site
• Bilingual physicians available
• Work injury management
• Drug and alcohol testing
• Pre-employment physical exams

Washington Urgent Care has been awarded accreditation by the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine (AAUCM). A voluntary process, accreditation enables the clinic to measure the quality of its services and performance against nationally recognized standards. Washington Urgent Care is the only urgent care facility in the Tri-City area to achieve this accreditation.