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Downtown urgent care caters to millennials

Karen Dybis
Special to The Detroit News

Henry Ford Health System is opening a high-tech, quick care clinic in downtown Detroit that combines smartphone scheduling, virtual consultations, health concierges and wellness services including acupuncture.

Much like a traditional urgent care, the 2,000-square-foot Henry Ford QuickCare Clinic, opening Aug. 3, will provide flu shots, medical tests and assessments for common illnesses such as ear infections.

But its more innovative aspects, such as online reservations and appointment adjustments via text, came about from surveys and focus groups among local millennials and Gen X patients — young adults who are coming downtown to live or work at increasing numbers.

“With their input, we designed a unique model for downtown Detroit to achieve health care that is affordable, convenient and virtual, everything these patients told us they wanted,” said William Conway, a doctor and CEO of the Henry Ford Medical Group. “The QuickCare clinic will make scheduling an appointment as easy as reserving a table at a restaurant.”

The QuickCare Clinic on Woodward, uses the program Clockwise.MD to let patients make appointments from any Web-enabled device, such as a smartphone. If the wait time changes, the system sends the patient a text resetting the appointment.

In addition to the high-tech options, an onsite video conferencing system lets patients with an eye on traveling consult with Henry Ford Travel Clinic experts about immunizations, medications or other health and safety issues regarding travel outside of the United States.

Detroit has a limited number of urgent-care facilities within the city limits, including the Detroit Medical Center’s facilities on Conant and Eight Mile; St. John Providence’s Samaritan Urgent Care on Conner; Conner Creek Urgent Care on East Outer Drive; and Concentra on East Jefferson. But Henry Ford’s QuickCare is a first for downtown.

Along with its ready-made hashtag of #HFQuickCare, the Henry Ford’s QuickCare clinic has a youthful look as well.

The front lobby features the building’s original tile floor and brick walls along with midcentury-style couches and finishes in black and gray. The clinic, whose overall look was created by Patrick Thompson Design, is in the historic Grinnell Building that once housed the Grinnell Brothers Music House.

Neighbors including residents and businesses say they hope the addition of the QuickCare facility will make this Woodward corridor “a health-conscious hub,” said Callie Bradford, co-owner of GO Smoothies at 110 Clifford. The juice shop hopes to partner with Henry Ford to bring its fresh juices and drinks to the clinic.

“The fact that people can go just around the corner for health care or a smoothie is just ideal,” said Bradford, who provided samples of her smoothies along with co-owner Monique Dooley at the event.

Michael Gause, who lives two buildings down in the Himelhoch apartments, said having additional health care options within the city and within walking distance of his home were the most appealing parts of having the QuickCare clinic nearby.

“My mom goes to Henry Ford, so I plan on bringing her here instead. It’s next door and that’s pretty convenient,” Gause said.

Karen Dybis is a Metro Detroit freelance writer.

Henry Ford QuickCare Clinic

Hours: 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday

Staff: Includes a nurse practitioner with access to consultations with Henry Ford Medical Group physicians

Costs: A standard visit costs about $85. Most insurance plans are accepted