People used to say (in the good old days of Detroit 1.0) that the city was a food desert – you couldn’t buy groceries easily or residents didn’t have access to “chain” grocers. You also could say the same of the city’s urgent-care options.

Yes, there are great hospitals with emergency rooms, terrific staff and lots of services. But what about when you have a simple ear infection, a busy schedule and don’t want to clog up a downtown ER? There are few if any walk-in clinics in downtown or even near downtown. Until now.

Calling its new QuickCare clinic a “healthcare boutique,” Henry Ford Health System offering downtown Detroit a destination that mixes wellness with smartphone scheduling, virtual consultations, health concierges and wellness services including acupuncture.

Much like a traditional urgent care, the Henry Ford QuickCare Clinic at 1515 Woodward will provide flu shots, medical tests and assessments for about four dozen common illnesses such as ear infections, officials said Wednesday at the clinic’s unveiling. The 2,000-square-foot clinic officially opens Monday.

Upon checking out the new QuickCare clinic, I did a little Internet research. That’s where I found (and this is backed up by Henry Ford as well) that Detroit has a limited number of urgent-care facilities within the city limits; downtown has fewer still.


The Detroit Medical Center lists urgent-care centers on Conant and Eight Mile. St. John Providence’s closest is its Samaritan Urgent Care on Conner, according to its website. Concentra has a site on East Jefferson as well. There is no Minute Clinic at the CVS on Woodward. The DMC has a family practice in the Compuware building, and many nearby residents use that for their primary care. Patients can be seen the same day but by appointment only.

It is time to have something in downtown, especially with the high number of employers, employees and residents. Having the QuickCare clinic there is a sign that healthcare has moved in alongside retail, restaurants and offices, giving downtown a more well-rounded offering to all. It’s a sign of a healthy city in more ways than one.

What makes QuickCare interesting is both its great looks (more on that in a second) and its more innovative aspects, such as its online reservations and appointment adjustments via text, which came about from surveys and focus groups with area Millennials and Gen X patients, said William Conway, MD and CEO of the Henry Ford Medical Group.

“These are two generations constantly on the go that are empowered by digital technology, and want care that is convenient and affordable. We believe Henry Ford QuickCare meets their needs,” Conway said.

The QuickCare Clinic uses the ClockwiseMD program to let patients make appointments from any web-enabled device like a smartphone. If the wait time changes, the system also sends the patient a text resetting his or her appointment.

Along with its ready-made hashtag of #HFQuickCare, the QuickCare clinic aims to attract Millennials and Gen X patients with its sleek interior as well. It is a great marriage of design and practicality — and it shows off how people are investing in making “Detroit 2.0″ look as modern and updated as possible. The front lobby features the building’s original tile floor and brick walls along with Midcentury-style couches and finishes in black and gray. The clinic, whose overall look was created by Patrick Thompson Design, is in the historic Grinnell Building that once housed the Grinnell Brothers Music House.

Neighbors including residents and businesses say they hope the addition of the QuickCare facility will make this Woodward corridor “a health-conscious hub,” said Callie Bradford, co-owner of GO Smoothies at 110 Clifford Street. I’m hoping Henry Ford snaps up lots of GO Smoothies to sell at its site, giving both businesses a boost. I could see dropping in the QuickCare clinic for wellness options just as much as for smaller maladies.

Henry Ford has made a great investment in Detroit, both in terms of facilities and the companies it works with as a healthcare giant. It is the health system’s seventh patient-care facility in Detroit, adding about seven more employees to the 8,800 Henry Ford employees already in the city, said Nancy Schlichting, Henry Ford’s chief executive officer, who was on hand Wednesday for the unveiling.


Other investments in Detroit include the purchase of 18 acres of land that was sold and became a Cardinal Health distribution center in a partnership between Henry Ford Health and DMC.

In 2012, Henry Ford announced its vision for a $500 million expansion of its Henry Ford Hospital campus in Detroit. That vision, eyed for the next 10-15 years, includes green space and commercial, retail and housing development. CEO Schlichting says the Cardinal Health project was always seen as a catalyst for the expansion of its flagship hospital to be south of West Grand Boulevard and north of I-94.

There’s also Henry Ford Medical Center-New Center One, Henry Ford Medical Center-Harbortown, Henry Ford Medical Center-Detroit Northwest, William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine, as well as its Corporate Offices and Health Alliance Plan (HAP).  With all of this, Henry Ford provides an estimated $6.018 billion economic impact to the metro Detroit area.

The Henry Ford QuickCare clinic is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at this time. Most insurance plans are accepted; payment must come in the form of credit or debit cards. A standard visit costs about $85, officials said. The clinic has a nurse practitioner with access to consultations with Henry Ford Medical Group physicians.

This post originally appeared on DetroitUnspun and is used here with permission.

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