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New Medical Clinic Helps Patients Avoid ER: May 31, 2011

A major issue in healthcare is cutting down on unnecesary emergency room visits. Solving the problem includes providing an alternative to people who feel they have no where else to go.

In one Ft. Myers neighborhood, the Lee Physician Group, Dunbar House is a resource. But to healthcare providers, it’s a solution.

“This is going to focus on prevention, decrease the admissions to the ER and allow that community to live healthier lives,” says Medical Director Dr. Aldith Lewis.

Too often people were using the emergency room as their doctor’s office because it was the most convenient option.

“I call it band-aid medicine when you go to the ER. We focus on a problem, we fix that problem, and they go home,” says Dr. Lewis. “We’re not really focusing on prevention.”

The new medical practice opened on May 16 and fills a much needed void. The Dunbar community has the highest percentage of chronic disease in Lee county, including diabetes, congestive heart failure and asthma.

“If you focus on managing these diseases in an outpatient setting, people are going live healthier lifestyles we’re going to decrease ER visits,” Dr. Lewis says.

The Dunbar practice provides adult-only care and shares the building with social services, so residents can get many of their needs met in one location.