Banner Health opens first urgent care location downtown

Banner Urgent Care's downtown Phoenix location (Sanjana Garg/DD)
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Banner Urgent Care recently opened its 47th location in downtown Phoenix in early June as a response to the population growth in the area.

The facility is the area’s first and only major urgent care provider.

“[Downtown Phoenix] is becoming not just a destination place but a place to live, work and play. So that’s where Banner needs to be. We need to be closer to where people are, and not so much in these large hospital models,” said Robert Rohatsch, M.D., CEO of Banner Urgent Care.

The urgent care facility, located at 1 N. Central Ave., offers treatment for non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses such as flu, rashes, sprains and throat infections. The facility also offers stabilizing services for patients until a primary care appointment or emergency services arrive.

“Urgent care is something you can go to your primary care physician for. But if they don’t have time for you, you can come to us. We’ll help bridge people between us, the primary care and the ER,” said Samia Kadri, a nurse practitioner for Banner.

Rohatsch said having an urgent care facility in downtown Phoenix is necessary to meet the demands of its residents. While transportation and other infrastructure can be added to downtown Phoenix, a healthcare facility is necessary to keep up with the needs of a growing population.

“We want to make sure that from a healthcare perspective that Banner is providing the infrastructure and growth that Phoenix needs … I think we need to have healthcare keeping up with the growth in downtown,” he said.

According to Kadri, most of the patients the employees in the facility see are those working in the downtown area or attending events in the area. She said in order to encourage the growth in downtown, there needed to be a facility that can cater to minor injuries and illnesses for the people working there.

“Banner Health offers payment plans for some equipment or testing not covered under the cash-pay option,” said Maria Marquez, a Banner medical assistant.

“We want to provide people with the best care possible within their budget,” said Kadri.

Banner Urgent Care has been contacting employers including Arizona State University, University of Arizona, and the Phoenix Convention Center to find out how they can work with them.

Banner also plans to partner with both universities and the Convention Center to help fulfill healthcare needs for a wide range of people.

In addition to providing patients with healthcare to fit their needs, Banner Health representative Jodie Snyder said Banner Health hopes to promote preventative measures for injuries and illnesses. 

“If a young patient comes in with elevated blood pressure, instead of prescribing him or her medication, Banner Health hopes to discuss lifestyle changes or measures to prevent it from getting worse,” Kadri said. “We want to be more on the offense, not the defense … It’s about focusing more on being healthy than relying on medication.”

Banner Health will also offer in-demand interpreting to provide healthcare access with no barriers and will offer payment plans for its patients.

Contact the reporter at [email protected].