New urgent care opens in downtown Gustine, aims to assist underserved community

Multiple agencies are partnering to bring increased medical care to the city of Gustine, on the west side of Merced County.

A new urgent care center at 489 5th St. in downtown Gustine opened in February, according to a Legacy Health Endowment news release.

The center, called Gustine Urgent Care, is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the RAN Health Service Clinic.

Collaboration between Legacy Health Endowment, Community Health Centers of America, the City of Gustine and RAN Health Service Clinic brought the new center to fruition, the release says.

Gustine was negatively impacted when the now-defunct nonprofit organization Horisons Unlimited Health Care closed its clinics in 2017 following a federal investigation and bankruptcy. One of its eight former sites included a Gustine location, leaving former patients without care.

“This new urgent care facility will provide badly needed relief to the West Side, particularly east of Highway 33,” Jeffery Lewis, CEO of Legacy Health Endowment, said in the release. “Legacy is committed to exploring longer-term solutions to this area’s healthcare needs, but this urgent care center will provide immediate relief.”

Merced County in general has a notorious physician shortage, with numbers ranking well below statewide and national averages.

The doctor-to-patient ratio stands at only 55.9 primary care physicians per 100,000 residents in Merced. That’s compared to the state’s 86.7 physicians and the country’s 87.8 physicians per 100,000 residents, according to a 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment Report.

Top concerns among Merced County public health representatives and community members includes access to care and services, lack of providers and affordable care, the report says.

Gustine’s new urgent care accepts all forms of insurance and no one is turned away, regardless of their ability to pay or their insurance status, according to the release.

The center currently offers traditional urgent care services such as treatment for common illnesses like the cold and flu, as well as minor injuries, pediatrics, X-rays and laboratory testing.

Dental services will be provided in the next 12 months, the release says.

Appointments can be made by calling (209) 854-3728.