Dr. Gregory Erb currently sees patients in Hillsboro Monday-Wednesday and then in Herington the rest of the week.
Many people in Marion County are already familiar with Dr. Gregory Erb from when he worked at Hillsboro Community Hospital and the Hillsboro clinic. Last year, he switched over to Herington Hospital where he spends part of his time. The rest of his time is spent seeing patients at the Hillsboro Healthcare Clinic located at 108 S. Main St. in Hillsboro.
Dr. Erb is there on Monday and Wednesday of one week and then Tuesday and Wednesday of the next week. But there are plans to bring on more staff.
“We have a mid-level provider, a nurse practitioner, signed on already who would be starting in May if it weren’t for all of the COVID-19 stuff pushing it back another month or two. But in the interim, we have a PA up in Herington that comes down and helps me see patients on Tuesdays,” said Dr. Erb. “Vicky Gambrill, CRNA, pain management, does injections and is in Hillsboro or Herington on Mondays every other week. The clinic also has a podiatrist who comes on the first and third Wednesdays of the month to Hillsboro.”
All of the providers can be seen in either Hillsboro or Herington.
In addition to the new staff, there are new services being offered with plans to add more.
“We have our x-ray up and going now. And we can do lab draws as well. With the COVID-19, we actually have ordered the blood tests that we can get results back quickly. We are supposed to be getting them soon (they were supposed to have them by press time for this story) and we will have them at the Hillsboro clinic and in Herington,” said Dr. Erb.
Herington Hospital CFO and Director of Medical Staff Bryan Coffey said, “The test results take 20 minutes, but we will have to have a runner in Hillsboro drive it directly up here (to Herington) to have the lab run it. The patient will still need to call first and not just show up at the clinic to have the test done.”
The Hillsboro clinic has been attempting to take walk-ins (that are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms) starting at 9 a.m., but the plan is to be able to be open longer hours and all five business days each week once the new nurse practitioner is working. The hope is this can happen later this summer.
“She is from Marion so she is close. She is very excited to be working here. Unfortunately, her boards have been pushed back to May so she is just unable to start yet,” said Dr. Erb.
Dr. Erb did confirm that the clinic purchased the Kessler building next door and will be expanding.
“The building that we purchased is 7,000 square feet and we have retained the architecture firm out of Wichita, HFG Architects, and they do a lot of critical access hospitals, and they are designing that 7,000 square foot space to tie into that existing 2,000 foot clinic to basically give us 9,000 feet of health care,” said Coffey.
Coffey wants to emphasize that the clinic desires to be a part of the community as well as a support.
“I think the overriding philosophy is to be homegrown. The staff are local people. The people that we have employed in the clinic will have worked in local hospitals. The difference is we don’t have a management fee that goes to Kansas City. We are keeping the dollars local. And certainly we are going to utilize the cost report to pull dollars out of Washington DC to invest in Hillsboro, KS. I’m always in constant talks with physicians that are in residency to bring on board a steady stream of doctors that are invested in our communities both in Hillsboro and Herington,” said Coffey.
The Hillsboro clinic can currently do joint injections and x-rays, casting and other basic Urgent Care functions. Soon they will be able to do much more including endocrinology, IV treatments and much more.
“We are also planning to have a surgical area there where people can get procedures such as colonoscopies done,” said Dr. Erb.
“One thing people don’t understand is that the Hillsboro Hospital struggled because of the huge management fee that’s levied against the hospital that goes outside of the community. But Hillsboro Health Care Clinic at 108 S. Main and it will soon encompass 112 S. Main with that 9,000 square feet, it will be federal dollars helping the local community, to where we’re employing the local community, providing services to local community and having doctors be a part of the local community,” said Coffey.
Dr. Erb pointed out that it will help refurbish the downtown area of Hillsboro and bring it all back to life.
One important thing to know is that you can call and make an appointment even when Dr. Erb is not at the clinic.
“You can also do appointments by phone and through Facetime with Dr. Erb especially during this time of COVID-19,” said Coffey.
To call and make an appointment or find out about COVID-19 testing, please call 620-877-4305.