Moab Urgent Care attendant Rose Espinoza (left) wrapped a medical bracelet around Jamie Bingham’s wrist on Friday, Sept. 29, as Lisa Bingham looked on. Hospital staffers say that the new Urgent Care Center is filling an important gap in health-care accessibility in Moab. [Photo by Murice D. Miller / Moab Sun News]

Since opening in August, the new Urgent Care Center at Moab Regional Hospital has seen more patients than originally anticipated and is filling an important gap in health-care accessibility in Moab, hospital staff say.

Access to professional medical services other than the emergency room was a primary concern voiced by the community in the 2016 Moab Community Health Needs Assessment, conducted every three years by the nonprofit community hospital.

“Sometimes people were finding it difficult to be seen when they needed care,” MRH spokesperson Sarah Shea said. “A lot of times people have a sick child on a Friday night, and it’s not something that justifies an ER visit.”

Hours and staffing are subject to change. Currently, the facility at Moab Regional Health Center’s Suite B in the I.W. Allen Medical Plaza is open weekday evenings from 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday from 1 to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and hours will be reduced during the winter months.

The center is open for walk-in appointments only; a physician and two nurse practitioners are available to see patients as they arrive.

Moab Regional Hospital staff members are glad to see the community taking advantage of the new service, Shea said.

“We’re pretty overwhelmed by the response from the community and the positivity that has come our way since we opened four weeks ago,” she said. “We’ve heard from several people who were really impressed with care they received and thankful that it was an option, and that it’s an option they can utilize in the future.”

People with a wide variety of medical conditions have already come through the doors, and Chief Clinical Officer Vicki Gigliotti emphasized that the Urgent Care Center serves a particular role at different times in the continuum of a patient’s health needs.

The first four weeks of operation saw 14 percent more patient visits than originally anticipated, Gigliotti said.

“It’s busier than we’d anticipated, especially at opening,” she said.

Urgent Care is never intended to take the place of other necessary health-care services, she said, including regular visits with a provider or family practice doctor, and Emergency Room visits for serious medical emergencies.

“If someone needs to go to the ER, we escort them there to make sure they receive the appropriate level of care for whatever their condition is,” Gigliotti said. “We are really careful about that.”

Urgent Care is available when medical conditions requiring a doctor visit, like fevers, severe flu and cold symptoms, and minor injuries, crop up at times when a doctor isn’t available, she said.

In the 2016 Moab Area Community Health Needs Assessment, community members voiced a concern about options other than the emergency room for people without insurance and out-of-town visitors.

Because the Urgent Care Center is operated by the hospital, all patients who seek and utilize services there are eligible for the MRH financial aid program, Shea said.

Anyone concerned about the impact of their medical bill can make an appointment with a financial aid counselor who will walk them through payment options and financial aid, and find a solution that will work for the patient, she said.

“If there’s one success we can really know for certain, it’s that patients have more choice now for different options and levels of care than they’ve had in the past, and we’re really proud to be able to offer that to the community so that everyone can get the care that they need in a time frame that hopefully works for them,” Gigliotti said.

Guidance on when to visit urgent care, updated hours of operation and additional information is available on Moab Regional Hospital’s website at

MRH Urgent Care Center busier than expected in opening month

We’re pretty overwhelmed by the response from the community and the positivity that has come our way since (Urgent Care) opened four weeks ago.