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Published on October 24, 2009

Letters: Community Cares Clinic

DAILY CHRONICLE : Saturday, October 24, 2009

Daily Chronicle reporter Dana Herra did a nice job covering Tuesday’s announcement of  the Community Cares Clinic. A lot of information was presented, so not all the details could fit into her article.

Here are few more facts, which also can be found at

Local physicians, Drs. George Gonnella, Asad Shah, and Jamison Allen, oversee the medical care of all clinic patients. They will admit patients to the hospital and follow their care while hospitalized. They also are on call 24/7 for emergencies. They can direct patients to the Emergency Department and admit them if necessary. A fourth doctor will soon be joining the practice and working at the clinic, allowing evening and Saturday hours to be added.

David Wester, the physician assistant managing the clinic, brings 10 years of family medicine experience having worked 10 years at Kishwaukee Medical Associates in Sycamore. Traci Costigan, an experienced nurse practitioner and NIU instructor, is also among the clinic staff. And several of the staff, including Wester, speak Spanish.

There has been much in the news lately, in light of federal health care reform, about the shortage of primary care physicians. The health system has been trying to recruit more family practice physicians and pediatricians for two years and continues to work on that.

The need for the Community Cares Clinic was too great to wait for a physician to be recruited and delay its opening even more. The health system is very grateful that Drs. Gonnella, Shah and Allen, stepped up to provide the medical oversight required.

The clinic welcomes patients with private insurance, Medicaid and those without insurance. Appointments are required, and depending on insurance coverage, payment is required at time of service and determined by a sliding fee scale.

Transportation to the clinic is available by Huskie Bus Line 7, and Voluntary Action Center’s Sycamore Blue Line, TransVAC and MedVac. Registration is needed for TransVAC and MedVAC. Call Voluntary Action Center at 815-758-3932.

Sharon Emanuelson
KishHealth System Marketing & PR Director

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