By SARA ARTHURS
Blanchard Valley Health System is moving forward with plans for a $7 million Carey medical center, which will be nearly 10 times the size of the current doctor’s office in that village.
The health system will build a 15,800-square-foot Carey Medical Center near the U.S. 23 interchange.
The center will replace the 1,600-square-foot Carey Medical Office where Dr. Troy Puckett has practiced since 2012. He shares the practice with nurse practitioner Alyson Kinley.
The practice is growing and the health system is seeing a demand for more health care providers. So Puckett’s brother, Dr. Robert Puckett, will join him at the practice in August 2019 after finishing his residency.
The brothers are Carey natives. Troy, a 1997 graduate of Carey High School, told The Courier last year about connections to the Carey community, including coaching sports and being active at his church, the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation.
A “hometown physician” is hard to recruit, and having two doctors from the Carey area is unique, said Kelly Shroll, president of Blanchard Valley Medical Practices.
“These doctors are embedded in the community,” said Martha Rothey, development officer of leadership and deferred gifts for Blanchard Valley Health Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the health system.
But the current building isn’t large enough. Health system leaders held focus group meetings with Carey residents in January to gauge their needs. “Convenience” was a key theme that emerged through those talks, Shroll said.
In particular, residents said they would like to be able to get lab work done in Carey, as well as imaging, Rothey said.
So the new facility will have space for labs and imaging. There will be X-rays on site, with the capability to expand for mammography, ultrasound, mobile PET, MRI and CT.
Specialists are another thing community members asked about, Rothey said. While Carey doesn’t have enough patients to support a full-time urologist or cardiologist, the health system plans to make some specialists available for regular visits to Carey. Cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics, pain management and urology are among the specialties being considered.
Shroll said the location, near the Ohio 15/U.S. 23 interchange, will be accessible not just to Carey residents, but the surrounding area.
The medical center site is part of about 23 acres of property owned by Tim Vaughn, who will develop utilities and roads in the area.
Some work is beginning. Rothey said she saw the road being cut on Friday. The plan is to hold a groundbreaking in June, and to have the medical clinic building “under roof” by winter.
Shroll said the facility is being designed with privacy in mind. For example, exam rooms will have two entrances, one for staff and one for patients.
Much of the $7 million cost will come from the health system, but Rothey is also beginning fundraising, with a philanthropic goal of $100,000. Anyone interested in being a part of this can contact Rothey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-423-5591.