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Iowa River Landing Clinic opens next Friday

BY ANNA THEODOSIS | SEPTEMBER 26, 2012 6:30 AM

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Local officials are excited because one of the many construction projects in the Iowa City area will be finished with the grand opening of the Iowa River Landing Clinic on Oct. 5.

The new clinic will bring University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics patients to Coralville for routine checkups and exams.

UI President Sally Mason told The Daily Iowan she is ready for the $73 million clinic to open because of the benefits it will bring to the Iowa City and Coralville communities.

“We’re moving a quarter of a million — more than 200,000 patients visits a year [out from Iowa City to Coralville],” she said. “That should decongest some of the daily traffic we have going to and from the hospital.”

Mason is one of the patients who will make the move to Coralville for a checkup.

“When I go for my next checkup with my doctor, I’ll drive out to Coralville,” she said.

The grand opening of the clinic, located on First Avenue, is scheduled for Oct. 5. Doctors will begin seeing patients the following Oct. 8.

One official from the clinic’s developing company said the project is an investment for the region.

“The Iowa River Landing project will catalyze regional economic growth in support of the burgeoning biotech, medical, and education hub that is growing in support of University of Iowa,” said Greg Wattson, the managing director of development at OliverMcMillan.

Coralville Mayor Jim Fausett said the new clinic will be a positive change to the social landscape of Coralville because of the increase in the number of people traveling through the town.

“There will be a huge number of out-of-area — even out-of-state people — who come for their visits,” he said. “It’s definitely going to bring a boom to the visits around here, the hotels, the restaurants.”

Fausett said he has yet to hear of any complaints from Coralville residents about the construction or the increase in traffic.

“We’re working very hard on the traffic control,” he said. “That may be the only thing people will complain about. We’re working with the DOT to get the intersection redone so that years from now, it’ll be even better.”

Iowa City residents are also showing support of the clinic opening.

“As a physician, I worked at the University for more than 20 years,” said Nicole Nisly, a UI clinical professor of internal medicine. “I have seen every kind of transition in the clinical sense. To me, it is exciting because it is actually the first one that reduces the space — it gives you a more intimate space.”

Rachel Williams, a UI associate professor of women’s studies, said she thinks the move is a “fantastic” decision.

“I think there are a number of people who find it much easier to go to a small place, right off the interstate, easily park,” she said. “It is much less intimidating then this giant hospital with a thousand doctors. So I actually think it is a really wise move.”

Mason said the clinic’s opening will help move other projects surrounding the UIHC forward because of the decrease in traffic congestion.

“[The clinic’s opening] is really the reason we can tear down the parking ramp and start the [new] Children’s Hospital with the configuration of the parking underground,” she said. “We had to find a way to decongest things, or it just wouldn’t have been feasible to still have all the traffic of all the people coming every day to the hospital and at the same time trying to do major construction projects right in front of the hospital.”


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