Hospital opens new facility for both immediate, primary care

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Beaufort Memorial Express Care & Occupational Health Bluffton medical staff includes Randall Castor, MD; Michael Petrillo, PA-C; Allison Vigil, FNP-C; Chip Fowlkes, DO. PAUL NURNBERG

BEAUFORT - Beaufort Memorial Hospital (BMH) has opened a new medical plaza in Bluffton, offering both immediate and primary care in one central location at 1 Burnt Church Road.

May River Medical Pavilion will serve as the home of two practices - Beaufort Memorial Express Care & Occupational Health and May River Primary Care.

"This new facility is part of our continuing effort to increase access to medical care and further Beaufort Memorial's mission to improve the health of our community," said BMH President and CEO Russell Baxley. "As the population south of the Broad continues to grow, so does the demand for health care services."

Open seven days a week, the walk-in Express Care clinic will offer same-day treatment for nonlife-threatening medical issues along with immunizations, lab services, X-ray, and school, sports and camp physicals.

"This type of facility is especially helpful when you can't get an appointment immediately with your family physician or you need to see a doctor after hours or on weekends," Baxley said. "It provides faster access for minor emergencies, but is less costly than an ER."

The clinic will also treat workplace injuries and perform employee physical exams, drug and alcohol testing, and screenings, including cholesterol and blood pressure tests. In addition, companies enrolled in Beaufort Memorial's Well at Work program will be able to send employees to the clinic for expedited medical services.

Beaufort Memorial Express Care & Occupational Health will be staffed by four health care providers, including board-certified emergency medicine specialist Chip Fowlkes, D.O., and board-certified family medicine specialist Randall Castor, M.D.

Formerly with Georgia Emergency Associates, Fowlkes has practiced in hospital emergency rooms in South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia since completing his residency in 1994 at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. He earned his D.O. degree at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Castor brings a wide array of experience to the practice, having worked in both urgent care clinics and a hospital emergency department. In 2013, he opened his own urgent care clinic in Bryson City, N.C., and later expanded to five offices located in underserved communities in the area.

Certified physician assistant Michael Petrillo and certified family nurse practitioner Allison Vigil will be working with the two physicians.

Later this month, May River Primary Care will open in a separate suite at the same address. The new practice will offer a full range of adult medical services, including wellness and preventive care and the treatment of chronic medical conditions and illnesses. The practice is accepting new patients and has already started scheduling appointments.

The medical staff will include Dr. Nikki Keisler, an experienced board-certified family medicine specialist most recently affiliated with Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia.

A graduate of the University of South Carolina Medical School, Keisler completed her residency at Palmetto Health Richland and went on to work for Providence Family Medicine in Columbia and Kershaw Health Primary Care in Elgin.

"We identified a need for primary care south of the Broad and created a strategy to better serve the community," Baxley said. "With the May River Medical Pavilion, we're bringing new providers to the market."

BMH began its expansion south of the Broad in 2006 with the opening of its Bluffton Medical Services facility in Westbury Park. In May, it broke ground on a 70,000-square-foot complex in Okatie that will open next fall and offer primary and walk-in care, a cancer center, rehabilitation, laboratory and imaging services, and more.

Plans are also in the works for a micro hospital - a joint venture between BMH and MUSC Health - on 13 acres at the intersection of Buckwalter Parkway and Bluffton Parkway.

For more information, visit BeaufortMemorial.org/ExpressCare or call 843-706-2185. To make an appointment at May River Primary Care, call 843-706-2287.

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