Premier Health Urgent Care becomes first black-owned urgent care facility on Chicago's South Side

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A group of African American doctors have opened the first black-owned urgent care facility on Chicago's South Side in the city's Hyde Park neighborhood.

"We live in the neighborhood and recognize when our children were injured or sick there was no urgent care nearby," said Dr. Airron Richardson, co-founder of the urgent care facility. "You had to go to a completely different neighborhood several miles away."

Premier Health Urgent Care is the only urgent care facility of its type open right now for business in Chicago. It's the brainchild of a group of African American emergency room and trauma physicians.

Co-founder and U.S. Navy veteran Dr. Reuben Rutland said the doctors wanted to bring affordable, quality healthcare to a South Side community that really needed it.

"So you have the choice of waiting eight hours in the emergency department for something minor, or coming to an urgent care and waiting 10 or 15 minutes and getting it done," Dr. Rutland explained.

The office opened near 47th and Lake Park Avenue in partnership with former Chicago Bears wide receiver, Dr. Gregory Primus, who was the first black person trained in orthopedic surgery at the University of Chicago.

"In the inner city, the community - some people would even say in the 'hood' - urgent car, primary care centers don't exist, so I felt like that has to be a part of what we are doing here," Dr. Primus said.

And while the urgent care is able to treat anything from cuts and bruises to bee stings and sprains, the center's CEO, Dr. Michael McGee, said the group plans to give back to the community through its youth violence prevention organization.

"Our program is designed to give a percentage of our revenue to programs here in the area doing their job to prevent violence," Dr. McGee said.

While urgent care centers have become popular for a lot of reasons, the doctors said they're just hoping to make a difference.

"It's good to be able to be in the neighborhood, be a part of the community and give back in some way, to just be able to provide care," urgent care physician Dr. Renita White said.
The facility is open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

For more information, visit the facility's website here: www.premierucchicago.com.
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